Introducing Socrata for Finance

September 30, 2015 7:00 am PST | Data as a Service, Public Finance

One of the most exciting developments in the Open Data and Open Government movements in recent years is the rapidly growing trend of governments using innovative technologies to make their key financial information available and accessible to citizens, researchers, and government analysts.

At Socrata, we are experiencing this momentous change firsthand. Just over two years ago, our partners in Montgomery County helped kickstart our journey into financial transparency when they asked for a new and better way to share budget information with staff and the public.

Immediately, Open Budget, and then Open Expenditures and Open Payroll, became the fastest selling product suite in Socrata’s history. In just the last six months, use of our tools to visualize and share financial data has grown by a factor of 10, with more and more agencies joining the platform every day. Earlier this year, Montgomery County won the prestigious Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) 2015 Award for Excellence in Government Finance for their work on the Open Budget and Open Expenditure frameworks.

That is why we are excited to announce Socrata for Finance, a comprehensive, cloud-based solution that allows governments to make their most important financial information — including budgets, payroll, revenues, vendor payments, and capital projects — available online in easy-to-use, easily understandable digital platform.

The tools which make up the Socrata for Finance solution are already in use by hundreds of governments across the United States, Canada, Europe, and Africa — displaying more than $250 billion in budgets and 1.9 million annual transactions to hundreds of millions of citizens and stakeholders worldwide.

Governments using the Socrata for Finance solution realize myriad benefits by making their key financial data accessible and understandable to non-accountants. Among the most important are:

  • Engaging citizens and building public trust by telling transparent stories around how taxes are collected and spent.
  • Empowering government employees to focus on higher-value tasks, rather than producing routine reports, driving culture change and increased operational efficiency.
  • Informing managers and policymakers by putting key operational data at their fingertips, when and where they need it.

In the words of Victoria Lewis, Project Manager for Montgomery County (MD)’s innovative dataMontgomery project: “Governments can’t simply publish budget and spending data in a static, incomprehensible PDF and expect to have a typical resident understand what they are looking at. Elegantly designed, guided financial sites are crucial to get the public and internal stakeholders on the same page and engage in real conversations.”

We are at the tipping point of a historic shift towards digital and transparent government — and we can’t wait to see what you will do next. Explore the tools within Socrata for Finance, and request a demonstration to find out more. 

 

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