A Mid-Year Look at the Latest Socrata Foundation Grantees

June 17, 2016 12:00 pm PST | Data Rockstars

The Socrata Foundation supports society-improving organizations that lack the necessary resources to fulfill their data-driven missions. Established in 2015, the foundation, which operates autonomously, is part of Socrata’s Pledge 1% donation of time and products to improve the world with open data. The foundation’s most recent grantees — Jackson, Miss., the Accountability Lab, and Safe Streets — were selected based on their ability to create new opportunities for underserved communities as well as their potential to broadly advance open data science and research. These organizations faced outside economic forces preventing them from achieving full success; the Socrata Foundation’s grant aims to ease that constraint.

Since receiving the grant and support from the Socrata Foundation, the three grantees have had been hard at work launching websites and kicking off projects. Find out more about what the grantees have achieved since the start of the year.

Jackson, Mississippi — Open Performance Grant

Justin BruceJackson’s new JackStats website provides performance data on everything from healthcare to blight control to economic vibrancy and employment opportunities. The website forms the backbone of weekly JackStat meetings, which GovEx describes as “a powerful venue for information sharing.” The easily viewed data and frequent meetings are helping the city meet major goals. A drive to reduce blighted properties, which had previously involved a expensive, convoluted process, is now operating efficiently — and with massive savings to the city.

Here’s what Justin Bruce, Director of Innovation and Performance for the city of Jackson had to say:

At Jackson, we’ve jumped into the process of connecting to our underlying data sources and databases. Our directors and department heads are excited about the insights, accountability, and growth that they are seeing from implementing performance measurement practices. The grant from the Socrata Foundation for JackStats has allowed us to kick-start this data-driven initiative.

Accountability Lab — Open Budget Grant

At a recent meeting of Accountability Lab’s Board of Directors, the soft launch of the lab’s open budget site was met with great excitement. As well as using Socrata’s Open Budget to highlight operating and revenue budgets, the Accountability Lab also seeks to take advantage of a capital budget module to showcase investments as part of their “Accountapreneurs” program.

Safe Streets — Open Budget Grant

Safe Streets has completed a robust education plan and coaching on the best practices of data management, publication, and storytelling in Socrata Perspectives. After a data migration is complete for Safe Streets, Socrata Data Analysts will help the organization push the data to Socrata’s platform, enabling further support.

Learn more about Socrata’s philanthropic efforts.


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