Supporting government transparency in Colorado
City of Boulder Launches New Online Transparency Tool
The City of Boulder has rolled out a new online tool to help measure and explain the city’s progress toward data-driven goals. The interactive platform, known as Boulder Measures, is available at bouldercolorado.gov/boulder-measures .
Boulder Measures has been in beta since it debuted at two community open house events in February. It has been enhanced based on public feedback provided at the open houses and ongoing input provided through online feedback forms. The city is publicly launching the tool now with 10 data sets, which cover topics like greenhouse gas emissions, library program attendance and police department clearance rates for crimes. Each topic includes data visualizations and narrative explaining the goal, its significance and observations about the trend.
“Boulder Measures is intended to create opportunities for two-way dialogue with our community about issues using a shared set of transparent information,” said Chief Innovation and Analytics Officer Julia Richman. “The tool will help residents engage in government –accountability – and help the city further its shift toward data-driven performance management.”
Boulder Measures is a tool that will evolve with time. Some of the goals the city is tracking with the tool are ambitious and long-term in nature. It should be expected, therefore, that there will be both progress and setbacks over time. Nonetheless, this tracking will provide valuable learning opportunities, as well as the chance to revise programs and funding commitments to ensure that community expectations are met.
For most metrics, the city will update Boulder Measures data at least quarterly, with a few measures updated more frequently. Raw data from the metrics will be made available in the city’s Open Data Catalog at https://bouldercolorado.gov/open-data . Boulder Measures and the Open Data Catalog are part of a larger effort across the city organization to use data more consistently to better inform decisions, enhance transparency, heighten accountability and enable continuous improvement. The city is working with an external partner, What Works Cities, to incorporate practices learned by cities around the country and also improve on those in a way that’s most valuable to the Boulder community.
The city will showcase Boulder Measures and the Open Data Catalog at the What’s Up Boulder citywide open house on Wednesday, Oct. 11. Visit bouldercolorado.gov/whatsupboulder for details on the event. The public can also submit feedback on Boulder Measures, and suggest new metrics, by visiting bouldercolorado.gov/boulder-measures.