Prolific, Mainstream Sharing of Open Public Finance Data Signals Major Tipping Point in Adoption of Digital Government

September 28, 2015 6:00 am PST
  • Growing Widespread Enthusiasm Represents an Unmistakable Inflection Point in the Way Governments and Constituents Collaborate on Public Finance Issues and Solve Hard Issues Together
  • Hundreds of Governments of All Sizes Are Now Rapidly Embracing and Deploying the Cost-Effective Socrata for Finance Solution
  • $250 Billion Worth of Government Financial Data Is Now on the Socrata Platform

Seattle – September 28, 2015 – Socrata (socrata.com) – the data platform company leading the transformation to 21st century digital government, delivering unprecedented data-driven innovation and cost savings for hundreds of public sector leaders and millions of their constituents – today reported three key metrics and milestones that demonstrate the marketplace momentum and success of its groundbreaking Socrata for Finance solution.

Comprised of ready-to-deploy, dynamic reporting tools powered by the Socrata Open Data platform, Socrata for Finance helps public sector officials holistically manage and share budget, expenditure and payroll details with both internal and external constituents in a simple, easy-to-consume manner.

Initial work on Socrata for Finance -- more at http://finance.socrata.com/ -- began 18 months ago, and today:

  • Hundreds of governments have adopted and deployed the solution
  • Governments of all sizes, in all locations – irrespective of political affiliation –have embraced the solution, including the State of Connecticut, Los Angeles County, the City of Los Angeles, the City of Davenport (IA), the City of Topeka (KS), the City of Cambridge (MA), the City of Kelso (WA), City of Seattle (WA), the City of Redmond (WA), the City of Chattanooga (TN), the City Of Virginia Beach (VA), Macoupin County (IL), Strathcona County (Alberta), Montgomery County (MD) and Stutsman County (ND)
  • $250 billion worth of government financial data is hosted by this Socrata solution

“Socrata for Finance may be one of the fastest-selling government technology solutions in history, and it demonstrates that more and more governments want to go well beyond financial transparency for transparency’s sake,” says Kevin Merritt, Socrata’s CEO and Founder. “Public sector officials today are interested in managing their finances prudently and efficiently in order to make the right financial decisions based on accurate, understandable and accessible data. They also realize the vital importance of empowering citizens so they can be ‘kitchen table auditors,’ and they want to give government employees the tools to do their jobs better. Taken as a whole, the widespread deployment of Socrata for Finance is another step in the government sector’s rapid shift from analog to digital government.”

Sharpening Financial Analysis, Controls and Reporting

Socrata for Finance:

  • Merges multiple, including legacy, financial systems into single datasets, promoting collaboration and benchmarking within and across departments 
  • Empowers staff to excel and execute by replacing labor-intensive, static internal reports with up-to-date, intuitive reports and visualizations
  • Elevates conversations between policymakers and stakeholders by providing the real-time information and context they need to make data-driven decisions and analysis
  • Increases public trust by engaging citizens and external stakeholders with easy-to-understand, interactive charts to find answers to simple questions quickly or analyze trends

Socrata for Finance can include any or all of the following products:

  • Socrata Open Budget publishes a government’s operating revenues, operating expenses and capital budgets, also allowing for comparison of budget vs. actuals.
  • Socrata Open Expenditures publishes government spending data in transaction-level detail -- including vendors, invoices and amounts. Visitors can use the tool to see who the government is doing business with, how much they’re spending, and compare spending with other municipalities.
  • Socrata Open Payroll publishes government payroll, including total size of a government payroll, top-paid government employees, top-paid government departments, median pay within a government, and more.
  • Socrata Open Data and Socrata Open Performance allow governments to share any additional / custom financial data and goals they want to make accessible to the general public or internal stakeholders.

Making the Right Financial Decisions for Constituents and the Community

“Governments can’t simply publish budget and spending data in a static, incomprehensible PDF and expect to have a typical resident fully understand what they are looking at or get excited about it,” says Victoria Lewis of Montgomery County (MD), which won the national Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) 2015 Award for Excellence for their work on the initial Open Budget and Open Expenditure frameworks. “Elegantly designed, guided financial sites are really crucial to engage the public to get all stakeholders on the same page in order to have real conversations. Our open spending and budget sites help us avoid the static PDFs and allow us go to community meetings with a robust, interactive site that can be used as a community engagement and conversational tool.“

Adds Mayor Nancy Backus of Auburn (WA): "When I took office in 2014, one of my primary goals was to change the way that government feels. The best way to do that is to make information more accessible for the average citizen and to use technology to bridge the gap between city hall and the people we serve. Publishing our financial data on the Socrata platform helps us accomplish exactly that."

About Socrata

Socrata is the global leader in software solutions that are designed exclusively for digital government, delivering unprecedented data-driven innovation and cost savings for hundreds of public sector leaders and millions of their constituents around the world.

The company’s customers include the cities of New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Melbourne and Eindhoven; the states of New York, Illinois and Texas; US Health and Human Services; Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; the UN, the European Commission, and the World Bank.

Built on an affordable, cloud-based, Software as a Service (SaaS) platform, the integrated Socrata Digital Government Cloud is complemented by the Socrata Open Data Network and professionally supported by the Socrata Partner Ecosystem.

Socrata equips governments and NGOs of every size so they can rapidly transform outdated and expensive data access models, Web sites and legacy applications into intuitive, visually rich, intelligent consumer-grade apps and user experiences that can now be enriched and sustained by real-time government data, perhaps the most economically powerful public asset in history.

Socrata’s digital government solutions are being deployed for a wide array of strategic and mission-critical government services: enhancing quality of life through constituent empowerment; increasing operational efficiency through fact-based, data-driven decision support; stimulating economic impact and opportunity by transforming open government data into the world’s most valuable, self-replenishing natural resource; and promoting unique intra and intergovernmental cooperation and collaboration by breaking down silos and dramatically reducing access barriers.

Government in the 21st century must become digital by default to remain relevant and keep up with the needs of modern, digital society, whose expectations have been altered by the Internet, cloud computing, social media, mobility and an explosion of data.

To learn more about Socrata, visit socrata.com.

Contact:

 

press@socrata.com