Back to Basics in Los Angeles: Data Dashboards

Thursday, October 29, 2015

As part of the mayor’s Back to Basics program, the City of Los Angeles, California, embarked on an open data initiative aimed at providing up-to-date information about the city’s performance on key initiatives and progress toward city-wide goals. The open data portion of the Back to Basics program sought to provide residents and employees with information that would help them better understand the city’s challenges, creating greater visibility that would lead to solutions.

To accomplish this goal, the city’s chief data officer developed a data dashboard for the mayor, city staff, and residents. The dashboard tracks key performance indicators, providing up-to-date information that shows how the city is performing and a clear picture of where the city is and where it hopes to be. Problem areas can be detected earlier, and resources can be allocated to fix them. The board tracks whatever is important to the city – fire department response times; water and power usage; poverty, homelessness, and crime.

The city believes that its investment in and use of dashboard data sends a message to the business community as well – that Los Angeles is serious about addressing its largest challenges and tech-savvy enough to meet them. The dashboard highlights the government’s level of comfort with technology and performance management.

In fact, Los Angeles has found the data dashboard to work so well it has offered the tool, for free, to any other cities that wish to use it. That offer has been accepted by more 25 cities so far.

More information is available on the city’s website.

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