St. Pete Shares More City Performance and Project Data
More data silos are disappearing in St. Petersburg, Florida.
This city continues to roll out components of its accountability initiative, StPeteStat. The program helps city personnel use data for informed decision-making while also providing transparency and accountability to area residents. A key component of the initiative is the data’s accessibility — it is supplied in a format that people can intuitively understand. It is equally valuable internally, as departments benefit from immediate access to centralized, up-to-date information.
Introducing Performance Stat and Project Stat
The most recent launch of tools under the StPeteStat umbrella includes Performance Stat and Project Stat. Performance Stat displays performance measures for all city departments, which are coming online on a rolling basis. “Our departments have worked hard to get their data up and visualized so that it is easily consumable and can be shared,” said StPeteStat Coordinator Debbie Volk. “We started with a small portfolio and are going to continue adding to that.”
Project Stat, the capital projects site that enables residents to explore data on all of the city’s projects — from pier reconstruction to water facilities work — is also new. While the tool is primarily engineering-focused, Volk called it an “imperative tool,” as it provides easy access to the details of numerous and significant projects to both citizens and city staff. For example, a commuter can search the status of a construction project at a certain intersection to plan an alternate route, or prospective homebuyers can explore upcoming or ongoing improvements to facilities they may use.
“I appreciate being able to say to newer departments in the initiative, ‘If you are pushing too much paperwork around, let’s fix that.’ This is a great opportunity for efficiency.” —Debbie Volk, StPeteStat Coordinator
Continuous Innovation in St. Petersburg
The StPeteStat initiative, which also includes the Open Stat open data portal as well as Stat Map, has been underway since January 2017. The rolling launch means that every time citizens visit the site, chances are there will be something new. The finance piece, for example, will be live by the end of the summer, and new departments are continuously being added. Upcoming departments include police, fire, fleet, billing and collections, and parks and recreation.
Because of the self-service nature of the Socrata technology behind the initiative’s data use, departments are taking ownership of their information, from internal use to what is provided to the public. “Departments are now coming to meetings and sharing with me what they’re doing in automating processes and creating visualizations, rather than needing me to guide them along,” said Volk. “I appreciate being able to say to newer departments in the initiative, ‘If you are pushing too much paperwork around, let’s fix that.’ This is a great opportunity for efficiency.”
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