In City Open Data Policies: Learning by Doing, the National League of Cities identifies how cities can take advantage of the opportunities presented by open data initiatives.
In this report, NLC studied existing performance management systems in ten U.S. cities, revealing insights into how cities track and measure the performance of city services, and use performance management to make critical decisions about the management and financing of city services. This report also provides an example of predictive analytics to indicate how the future of performance management is evolving.
Open data is information collected by cities that can be freely used, reused, and redistributed by anyone. Although there are potential challenges to establishing and implementing open data policies in cities, the evidence suggests that making city data freely accessible improves governmental transparency, performance, and spurs economic growth. NLC helps cities understand and take advantage of the opportunities presented by open data initiatives.
To promote the use of open data in cities across the United States, the National League of Cities (NLC) has partnered with Socrata to launch an open data portal. The portal provides a comprehensive list of cities utilizing open data and highlights particular data sets by category, as well as relevant NLC research. The portal is geared towards cities at any stage of the open data process; cities without open data portals can gain an overview of how other cities are using data, while cities with established portals can find examples of particular datasets from other cities that would be useful to emulate.
Performance management, the process of consistently reviewing performance data to inform decision-making, is a strategy emerging in cities across the country. NLC provides recommendations and peer engagement for strengthening performance management to allow cities to make informed program and process improvements, spend scarce budget resources wisely, and ensure that the community's needs are being prioritized.