The City Desk: St. Pete Stat, a New Data Tool from the City of St. Petersburg
The City Desk is a monthly column written by and about the city of St. Petersburg. This month, Debbie Volk, St Pete stat coordinator, talks about the city’s goal of making data easier for residents and staff members to use and understand. (If other cities or counties in the Tampa Bay area would like a monthly City Desk column, give us a ring or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
By DEBBIE VOLK, St. Pete State Coordinator
ST. PETERSBURG – St. Pete Stat, launching Monday (June 11), is an interactive platform that uses live data to explore the work of the city. Mayor Rick Kriseman’s goal: to help bring transparent accountability for the work the city does.
One thing is for certain, there is no data shortage here at the city of St. Petersburg. However, it’s been a journey to move towards data driven decisions. The challenge? In order for data to be consumable, it needs to be in a format that’s usable and tells a story.
How the journey began:
I coordinated several discovery sessions with departments throughout the city to start compiling data and learn how to best tell the story of the department’s accomplishments and projects. I learned quickly that it’s crucial for data to be shared across departments. Since data is primarily used to improve processes, timeliness and quality of work, departments expressed the need for other department data to improve their work.
For example, Wastewater Management – the group responsible for installing sewer lines, is looking for data from Construction Services and Permitting regarding projects that would need new lateral sewer lines to better plan their work and ensure timely installation of the lines.
It was clear more than a simple dashboard to display information was needed. An interactive platform that allowed for both city departments and citizens to find data, information and find out what work the city is doing was the answer.
St. Pete Stat was born. It’s a place where internal city of St. Petersburg departments can consume data in a format that informs progress, demonstrates challenges and identifies opportunities. This is information is able to be accessed and shared with every layer of the city -from line staff to the Mayor to citizens. Everyone will be working from the same information or what I like to call “the single source of truth.”
Data transparency within the city, helps citizens get the information their looking for more efficiently. For example: Project Stat, one of the tools within the St. Pete Stat platform, provides a snapshot of all the current city projects. Citizens often ask questions about what’s going on at the end of their street or in their neighborhood – this tool gives them the ability to see if it is indeed the city and the status of the project.
St. Pete Stat increases communication among city of St. Petersburg departments, improves the process of collecting information and provides data transparency to St. Pete residents.
The site is only beginning and will continue to grow with information.
Check it out, here: stpete.org/stat.
Photo courtesy of the city of St. Petersburg.
St. Petersburg | Public Information | Statistics | Transparency | Tampabay News
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