Data Goes Deep

In my business I’m fond of saying “data goes deep.” This simple phrase encapsulates one of the most important concepts for City Managers and other high-level local government staff to understand: that data isn’t easy to do well, and to get results it takes a commitment throughout the organization.

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What Does "Data-Driven" Mean?

Local government leaders know that data is important. They know that within data lies the power to transform their local government to a smarter, more responsive, and more transparent organization through “smart city” projects and digital engagement initiatives. Most also recognize the value in evidence-based decision-making, and the potential of data to revolutionize performance measurement. But the concept that unifies these potentials – data-driven – is often thrown around without explanation or context. What does it really mean?

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Why We're Here

The era of data in government is here. From public safety to water to waste management, local governments are beginning to harness data’s potential to improve the lives of their residents. City leaders across the world understand that data is central to the future delivery of their mandates: over 50% of cities surveyed by ICMA in 2016 ranked their overall commitment to “smart cities” as a High or Medium priority. When it comes to being data-driven, technology is supporting it, residents expect it, and leaders see value in it.

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