The Queen City Ascends Ohio’s Local Data Throne
Citizens, government workers, and civic technologists cheered across Ohio, the United States, and beyond last week. The City of Cincinnati propelled Ohio municipalities into a new era of transparency and efficiency with the launch of their open data portal – data.cincinnati-oh.gov.
The portal launch is the culmination of efforts that began in City Council under the charge of Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld. Mayor John Cranley similarly echoes Sittenfeld’s goals around transparency, efficiency, and innovation. “A government that is transparent and accessible will inevitably do a better job because it will be held accountable by its stakeholders,” Cranley says.
The initiative, overseen by City Manager Harry Black’s office is part of a larger effort to improve Cincinnati’s use of data to drive more effective and accountable service delivery. According to City Manager Black, “Open Data Cincinnati is about more than just stats, numbers, and bar charts. This is about the City opening itself up to the people we serve on a daily basis.”
In launching the portal, Cincinnati leads progressive efforts in Ohio to date and joins a growing number of peers like Chicago, San Francisco, and Montgomery County, MD in providing this level of access to government operational data. Cincinnati joins a more elite group of municipalities that view data not just as a public asset that can inspire engagement and innovation outside city walls but also as a valuable means to improving service delivery and efficiencies within city walls. “Open Data is critical to our work in the Office of Performance & Data Analytics. Data driven decisions are crucial to delivering better, faster, and smarter service,” says Chad Kenney, Cincinnati’s Chief Performance Officer.
The work of the last few months is just a start and the City will continue to expand the data available and the context of that data with maps and charts. Over time, more data will be made available to further the City’s transparency efforts. “This is just the beginning. We are committed to continuing our work with City departments as well as engage with the local tech community, community councils and the public to identify additional datasets” says Brandon Crowley, Chief Data Officer.
With Cincinnati leading the way, there’s a great opportunity for greater transformation across the Buckeye state.