The publication took place Monday, April 3, marking the first time the city has released either document. The 2016 Annual Report is a primer on what has been accomplished since Mayor Ed Murray signed an executive order requiring all of the city government’s data to be “open by preference,” meaning after privacy and security have been accounted for, the city’s preference will be to publish all data. The 2017 Open Data Plan, meanwhile, sets the key priorities that will stem from the 2016 progress, including increasing open data to encourage innovation, while simultaneously increasing the ability of city agencies to use data to make informed choices.
The publication of these reports comes days after Murray signed an executive order directing government departments throughout the city to expand their use of data and analytics to improve everyday management and decision-making where possible.
The executive order detailed Seattle’s commitment to transparent, open and efficient government, drawing a connection between these qualities and use of data and analytics in daily functions, decision-making and other practices. In terms of actionable results, the order calls for the Performance Seattle team to work with the leadership of city departments to integrate performance and accountability measures into new policies. Other directives include conducting an analysis of where data is needed but not currently available, building dashboards that make data easily available to city officials, and establishing a long-term plan to continue data management and analysis.