Public Finance Data Cloud

Opening the books for citizens, staff, and policymakers

Financial transparency is a key component in a government’s efforts to establish and maintain trust with their constituency. Socrata Public Finance™ enables any person to understand how their government is collecting and spending tax revenues, whether that person is a local citizen, a government leader, or a finance professional.

Who Uses Socrata Public Finance

Local Citizens

Citizens interested in understanding how their tax dollars are being invested can easily get insight into the government budget, spending, and payroll data, even if they are financial novices.

Government Leaders

Rather than waiting for reports for days, weeks, or months after the books have finally closed, government leaders can get instant insights at any time and on any device to understand exactly how their organization is doing.

Financial Analysts

Advanced financial experts can get clarity and insight from built-in reports, but the underlying data is also readily available to download or connect to third-party analysis tools for further investigation or audit.

Data Driven Decision-making

Every day, policymakers for all levels of government make critical decisions about the allocation of public funds and government resources. Without access to key data about the operations of their agencies, these decisions are made with incomplete information.

  • Access the data anytime, from any internet-enabled mobile device and get answers to the most common questions quickly by viewing easy-to-understand reports
  • Give policymakers and managers the context they need to make informed and effective decisions about the allocation of limited resources
  • Analyze spending to identify overlaps or inefficiencies across departments or projects. Compare your spending with other governments to identify opportunities for cost savings and increased efficiency
  • Promote collaboration, data sharing, and cross training to take full advantage of the collective expertise and experience of government staff and managers

Streamlined Reporting

Governments of all sizes spend significant staff time and resources producing mandated financial reports, internal reports and updates, and custom reports for FOIA requests and policy analysis. Socrata Public Finance can positively reduce the amount of time, effort, and money spent to support these routine tasks.

  • Replace custom, labor-intensive internal reports with beautiful, interactive and intuitive online reports and visualizations
  • Eliminate the need to burden IT staff to run custom queries, or the effort of re-entering data that’s trapped in a PDF report
  • Give the public direct access to Socrata Public Finance to reduce the number of FOIA requests and the cost of delivering them
  • Demonstrate your commitment to residents and media by sharing information in the way that the public wants to see it – easily, intuitively and interactively

Enhanced Internal Controls

One of the most important obligations of any government is to prevent waste and ensure that tax dollars are spent as efficiently and effectively as possible. Socrata Public Finance supports better internal controls by providing more clarity and insight to a traditionally obscure area.

  • Bring data from siloed financial systems into a central repository that can be easily accessed and understood
  • Allow for more in-depth analysis, identifying trends and spending patterns that were previously hidden
  • Proactively identify trends and look for potential areas of waste, fraud, or abuse throughout your organization
  • View vendor payments, overtime patterns, and collections that indicate inefficient processes or inefficient use of resources

Features

Open Budget

Socrata Open Budget answers key financial questions about operating and capital budget revenue streams and allocations.

  • How much is in the Operating and Capital budgets?
  • What are the top sources of revenue for the budget?
  • What are the top priorities in the budget?
  • How much has been spent already?

Open Expenditures

Socrata Open Expenditures provides checkbook–level insight into organizational spending, down to the actual invoice detail.

  • Who is doing the spending?
  • What are they spending it on?
  • Who is the money going to?
  • Are there opportunities to consolidate or collaborate for better rates or results?

Open Payroll

Socrata Open Payroll answers common questions about government spending on personnel.

  • What is the total size of the payroll?
  • How many people work in the organization?
  • What are the biggest bargaining groups?
  • What is the highest paying job? What is the median pay?

“Within a year of launch, the city’s financial transparency portal had more than 2 million page views. The number of data reports the Controller’s office produced for FOIA requests declined by more than 33% (65 from 104) from 2013 to 2014. For the first time, the City was able to unify its 8 disparate procurement and financial systems into single datasets.”

Ron GalperinCity Controller
The City of Los Angeles

“Thanks to Socrata’s technology, we have a taxpayer-friendly interface to access the most current data on the county budget and expenditures.”

Steve StengerSt. Louis County Executive
St. Louis County, MO

“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.”

Mayor Nancy BackusThe City of Auburn, WA

“Commissioners and other people say, you know I learned something about my own data because I saw it in a different way. That’s an important bit of learning and…it helps them to plan better.”

Kevin LemboState Comptroller
The State of Connecticut

Featured Assets

Davenport Calls Financial Transparency a Matter of Trust

When you spend time with city government staff in Davenport, Iowa, you’re apt to hear the words “public trust” now and again. The City’s administration has sought to earn citizens’ trust via a policy of robust information transparency.

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Topeka: A Lesson in Gaining Stakeholder Support

In many ways, the City of Topeka’s open budget portal has been a straightforward execution — the kind of informative portal that cities nationwide are implementing left and right as accessible open data becomes the norm.

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Boston Makes Budget Transparency a Top Priority

The City of Boston had been publishing their budget in multi-volume PDFs for years. While there’s a wealth of information contained in these volumes, it can be difficult for the public to understand where the City is allocating resources and for what purposes.

Read More

Opening the Books: Three Challenges that Governments are Solving with Open Financial Data

See how organizations can engage citizens in the budget process, improve governance and internal controls, and streamline public records processes for citizens and the media.

Download Whitepaper

Building Transparent Government Through Open Financial Data

See how opening the books impacts residents and employees.

Watch Webinar

Request a Meeting

Want to learn more about Socrata Public Finance? We’d love to show you what we can do. Fill out the form and a qualified Socrata representative will set up a no obligation meeting to assess your needs.