1 Million Views for Massachusetts’ CTHRU Finance Site

March 15, 2018 12:31 pm PDT | Public Finance

The Office of the Comptroller for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has one million reasons to celebrate today.

Just 17 months after replacing their legacy financial transparency and data access system with a cloud-based version on the Socrata platform, they’ve had one million views of the site.

 

“I am enormously proud of our aggressive evolution to position CTHRU as a next generation government transparency platform.” —Tom Shack, Comptroller for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

 

In a press release from the Office of the Comptroller, Comptroller Tom Shack says, “I am enormously proud of our aggressive evolution to position CTHRU as a next generation government transparency platform. I look forward to providing an unparalleled experience to the next million page views and beyond,” said Shack.

Shack has been an outspoken advocate for financial data access and transparency. You can hear his point of view in the following video.

 

Managing a Complex System

The Office of the Comptroller oversees more than $60 billion in governmental and other working capital funding sources annually, including Massachusetts’ expenditure and payroll management and major audit functions. The CTHRU site covers statewide spending and payroll, quasi-governmental financial summary, quasi-governmental payroll, state and teachers’ retirement benefits, and executive department new hires. With the recent addition of settlement and judgement summary data, CTHRU now hosts seven distinct datasets. The scope of the data available on CTHRU is vast: there are roughly 27 million rows of spending data details, spanning 10 years.

Not only does the new streamlined CTHRU solution offer a completely transparent look at all of these statewide financial operations, it is a more sustainable model to run. The original system required hundreds of staff hours to customize and install and was costly to maintain. Meanwhile, CTHRU has cost just 14 percent, by comparison, to get started and run, and the system is regularly maintained by Socrata at no additional cost.

“We literally cut out not just the middleman, we’ve cut out a whole group and a layer of bureaucracy around those public records requests that is going to allow free and open access to the data,” said Shack when CTHRU launched in the fall of 2016.

Named number one on the list of “The Best States for Data Innovation 2017,” according to the Center for Data Innovation, the Office of the Comptroller plans to continue to explore transparency enhancements and efficiencies for the benefit of the public, media, and government.

 

“Surpassing the one million page view mark is a significant accomplishment, but it is also a challenge from all visitors to constantly evolve, improve, and add data and clarity.” —Tom Shack, Comptroller for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

 

“As I said when we launched CTHRU in the fall of 2016, I want as many eyes on the data of how the Commonwealth is utilizing its resources as possible. Surpassing the one million page view mark is a significant accomplishment, but it is also a challenge from all visitors to constantly evolve, improve, and add data and clarity,” Shack said in a press release.

Explore CTHRU via the “Transparency” button on the Comptroller’s Home Page.

​For more information on the Commonwealth’s work on CTHRU, check out these resources: 

Comptroller Tom Shack is speaking at Socrata Connect in Austin this May. Come hear from him and other government thought leaders. Learn more.