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Data-driven Cities in the U.S. Deliver Better Outcomes for Residents

A new report found that four out of five local government officials in the U.S. say they have improved their use of data in the past six years to drive better outcomes for residents. Two key areas that have seen improvement are performance management and taking action, according to “Closing the Data Gap: How Cities Are Delivering Better Results for Residents. The report is based on a survey of 44 officials in the What Works Cities (WWC) network, an initiative to increase cities’ use of data.

Since then, the number of cities monitoring and analysing their progress toward key goals more than doubled from 30% to 75%, and the percentage of cities modifying existing programs based on data analytics went from 20% to 61%. City leaders and staff are moving beyond old practices based on precedent or instinct. Instead, they are using data to make more effective operational, programmatic and policy decisions. Residents are reaping real benefits, from improved services to greater visibility into how their local government works.

For instance, in Memphis, the Department of Animal Services increased the rate at which it saved animals to more than 90% in 2020, up from 46% in 2014, by monitoring progress against goals and performance metrics. Washington, D.C., Public Schools (DCPS)ended its Extended Year Program in fiscal 2020 after data failed to show improved student outcomes.

Instead, DCPS began a three-year one-to-one device program for students in grades three through 12 and expanded an evidence-based community school model called Connected Schools, which had shown above-average growth in family and community engagement metrics.

The report also found that four out of five survey respondents said they use data to make better budget decisions, more than three in five use it to repurpose funding or defund ineffective programs, and more than half use it to award contracts and shift procurement dollars. As a result, cities are delivering services more efficiently, effectively and equitably.

These are the examples of cities that leverage data efficiently:

  • Arlington, Texas, tracked ridership data for a pilot rideshare program and then allocated funding to expand it based on the findings. As a result, officials expanded the program this year, giving residents their first citywide public transit system.
  • Tulsa, Okla., moved $500,000 of federal funding from a first-come, first-served strategy to one that favoured the poorest neighbourhoods based on an analysis that showed existing processes didn’t help underserved communities.
  • Boulder, Colo., redesigned a procurement process for 65 additional miles of fibre-optic infrastructure to prioritise value and results rather than dictating how to perform work. Using new data for evaluating bids, the city saved $8 million and subcontracted with more partners, including small and minority-owned businesses.

The use of data is also helping emergency response, with 60% of respondents reporting improved emergency response times. For instance, Cincinnati used data to determine the causes of delayed 911 call-answering times, create an action plan to address them and ultimately increase the number of emergency calls answered in less than 10 seconds from 40% to 90%. About 70% of respondents said their cities used data-driven decision-making to respond to the pandemic, including taking steps to reduce the virus’ spread and providing financial relief to those in need.

Cities with crucial data skills and practices in place were able to pivot quickly to respond to the ever-evolving challenges the pandemic presented. The challenges include leaning on existing infrastructure, culture, and staff knowledge to immediately stand up crucial data command centres and public information dashboards in the early months of the pandemic and make critical decisions affecting public health, safety, and well-being. COVID-19 has illustrated the importance of investing in and building foundational data skills and practices that enable a city to respond quickly in the face of disaster.

Getting to more effective local government and better outcomes for residents requires the hard work of adopting foundational data practices, developing data skills across a broad swath of city staff, and putting in place critical data infrastructure.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

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As a Titanium Black Partner of Dell Technologies, CTC Global Singapore boasts unparalleled access to resources.

Established in 1972, we bring 52 years of experience to the table, solidifying our position as a leading IT solutions provider in Singapore. With over 300 qualified IT professionals, we are dedicated to delivering integrated solutions that empower your organization in key areas such as Automation & AI, Cyber Security, App Modernization & Data Analytics, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Renowned for our consulting expertise and delivering expert IT solutions, CTC Global Singapore has become the preferred IT outsourcing partner for businesses across Singapore.

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Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.