Looking Up All Kinds of Info with Boston About Results
The grandiose promises of politicians frequently disappoint. Initiatives launched with tremendous fanfare lose momentum as their champions turn their interest elsewhere and move on to other things. So it’s nice to see exactly the opposite happening in Boston.
The city has been talking about its performance management system, Boston About Results, for a number of years. It initially was introduced in 2006 and first appeared as a series of goals and measures in the city budget.
Then it progressed into a section of the city website with additional information and graphics for a variety of measures in each department (see BPS example here).
As a long-time observer, I was pleased to see the additional data but still felt that improvements could be made.
And the new version of the website delivers more measures, data visualization, and much improved historical data. There’s a wealth of information on there, just a few nuggets:
- The city gives out 1.35 million parking tickets per year but wants to be giving out another 200,000.
- The Boston Fire Department has responded to more than 71,000 incidents this year. Close to 44 percent of those incidents are medical in nature.
- The average Boston household produces 133 pounds of waste per month.
Go take it for spin, and give the city your feedback. They’re asking for it.
The key now will be to keep the improvement process going — by continuing to improve the quality of the measures in Boston About Results and using the data to make the city work better.
Crossposted at Pioneer Institute’s blog.