The startup's expansion follows similar moves from open data companies serving state and local government in recent years. ClearGov, however, brings a unique approach and business model to the industry.
ClearGov, a startup that makes data dashboards for local governments and school districts, is expanding into territory trod by other gov tech companies: performance management.
In the past, ClearGov has offered portals that highlighted data such as demographics, budgetary metrics and housing prices. Now, it’s adding key performance indicators (KPIs) for individual departments.
“Every department from school custodial services to municipal zoning operates in line with their organization’s overall strategic plan,” ClearGov CEO Chris Bullock said in a press release. “And, like business units in the private sector, each has documented objectives they’re expected to achieve. Now, department heads can easily share those … (KPIs) and other custom metrics both internally and with the public at large.”
KPIs will look different for different departments. In Morgantown, W.Va., for example, the local police department has set up a ClearGov dashboard displaying charts with information such as calls for service, arrest rates and number of citations per year.
The expansion puts ClearGov into an arena that gov tech companies such as OpenGov and Socrata — now a subsidiary of Tyler Technologies — already work in. Both those companies, after making a name for themselves with open data portals, introduced performance measurement and management tools for governments to track, both internally and externally, how departments are doing.
The companies have somewhat different approaches to business, however. ClearGov’s model, historically, has been to set up portals for local governments without a contract. Then governments or school districts can “claim” their portal, which gives them extra features and customization capabilities for the portals, or buy software from the company. ClearGov also emphasizes context, comparing jurisdictions to others of similar sizes.
“This new tool helps level the playing field for small- and mid-sized agencies that may not have the resources — or frankly the need — to invest in the pricey performance management software their big-city counterparts use,” Bullock said in the statement.
Editor's note: This story was corrected to remove an inaccuracy about ClearGov's business model.