Big Data in Local Govt.: How does your community measure up?

Two groups have unveiled new data tools to allow local governments to easily collect, clean, report, benchmark and analyze their data.

The goal is to help locals improve their services and compare their results with what other local governments are doing.

Developed by The International City/County Management Association (ICMA) in partnership with analytics software developer SAS, ICMA Insights aims to help communities synthesize data they collect across the services they provide – such as police, fire, trash collection, building permits – to track performance metrics and drive improvements in service delivery.

"It's extremely fitting that as we look ahead to the next 100 years of local government leadership, performance management is front and center," said Bob O'Neill, Executive Director of ICMA.

"If we can get 2,000 communities in our database, participants can then match their performance against lots of other communities and make evaluations based not only on their own historical performance but against a universe of similar communities."

The service includes training modules; a private online network for peer-to-peer discussion; and ICMA-generated research, case studies, and white papers.

Five levels of service are offered to cover a range of community and budget sizes. The tier services range from basic summary statistics and integrated reporting to more advanced customizable graphs, scorecards, dashboards and performance forecasting. Multiple local user licenses with additional users based on population are also available.


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