How Data Strategy Creates A Culture of Accountability In Local Government

online data management concept

The public sector has generally been slower than other industries to adopt technology advancements. As a result, state and local government agencies are not innovating at the rate their constituents have come to expect.

Creating a data-driven culture within municipalities can help them set and measure progress toward goals, create operational efficiencies, and boost the customer experience for both internal and external stakeholders.

Challenges That Get In The Way Of Adopting A Data Driven Culture

Although we live in a time where there is no shortage of data collection, many organizations struggle with how to use their data.  When collected and analyzed properly, data should help employees and constituents make informed decisions in real time.

Digital transformation can help employees automate processes and identify areas for improvement. When reviewing and applying data, constituents can gain an improved user experience when interacting with public sector organizations. Data transparency also demonstrates a commitment to accountability. 

Democratization Of Data Helps Municipalities Reach Their Goals

How can municipalities reach their goals by advancing a data strategy? First, it’s critical to set clear goals with measurable benchmarks. Focusing on achievable, quantifiable goals fosters a culture of accountability and encourages continuous improvement.

Second, design data-sharing policies that eliminate data silos while protecting sensitive data. Finally, measure progress toward long-term goals regularly. Quantifiable benchmarks allow municipalities to correct course, provide oversight, and recognize success.

Gain Clarity On Actions With Data

As local governments look to create open and transparent data foster ongoing innovative research and bolstering trust in government operations by enabling residents to hold the government accountable.

Transparent data policies encourage sharing across divisions, which fosters agency-wide accountability. Similarly, municipalities that promote data-informed decision-making strengthen trust with public sector employees and constituents.

Expand The Access To Goals And How They’re Measured

Many organizations limit access to data to improve information security. Data access problems can quickly hinder an organization and slow down progress toward goals. A data strategy that democratizes access to data can address this common challenge.

data management concept

Rather than restricting access, municipalities should prioritize data sharing internally and with the public. Empower residents, academic institutions and businesses with the open-source tools and data to improve the community, find new policy enhancement, business opportunities, and increase civic participation.

In addition, sharing metrics on milestones can encourage a culture of accountability. Transparency into priorities, key performance indicators, and goals promote continuous improvement.

Goal transparency improves internal employee relations and builds public trust. While expanding access to long-term goals and milestones, public sector organizations need a data strategy with clear information assurance policies.

How To Use Data To Build A Culture Of Accountability

In the public sector, accountability is a top priority. State and local governments can leverage data to encourage outcomes. A data strategy that prioritizes continuous improvement feedback, expectation setting, and measurable checkpoints can help municipalities foster accountability and transparency. 

Give Continuous Improvement Feedback To All

A culture of accountability requires continuous learning. A data strategy integrating continuous improvement feedback helps public sector employees build on their strengths and address weak points. In addition, metric-based feedback reinforces the importance of accountability across divisions and on an individual level. 

Set Change And Communicate Long-Term Needs Early

Setting expectations improves stakeholder engagement and helps state and local government agencies work toward their goals more effectively.  By communicating goals internally and externally, agencies prepare constituents and employees for upcoming changes. In contrast, lack of communication creates unclear responsibilities, expectations and accountability.

Use Checkpoints To Document Plans And Progress

office women working with laptop and documents

When proposing plans, create milestones or checkpoints to measure progress and hold stakeholders accountable. The best data strategy can highlight an organization’s contributions and offer data-backed evidence of progress toward critical goals. In addition, creating a roadmap with checkpoints encourages accountability. 

Create An Accountability Strategy By Leveraging Data With Hartman

In the public sector, successful data strategies leverage information to promote transparency, accountability, and continuous improvement. Hartman Executive Advisors works with governments to develop and execute a data strategy to support their organizational goals. Contact Hartman today to take the first steps toward a data strategy.


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