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OpenGov Launches Performance Measurement Toolset

The new product is meant to help government workers with their nose in the daily grind step back and get a better idea of the big picture.

OpenGov has launched a performance measurement product meant to help governments track progress toward goals, and even compare their metrics to similar agencies in other jurisdictions.

The tool, called Performance Measures, is already in place with the city of San Rafael, Calif., after the municipality participated in the product’s beta test along with other local governments in California, New Mexico, Ohio and Maryland. In San Rafael, the city is using it to keep track of — among other things — its progress preventing brush fires from homeless campsites.

Many government workers are simply too busy with day-to-day tasks to step back and gather metrics that help them evaluate how they're doing, OpenGov Product Manager Tom Zayan wrote in a blog post. Even when they do try to measure performance, it's often a tedious and time-consuming task.

“Numerous finance directors, management analysts, department heads, and city and county administrators have told us they want to track their performance to determine which programs are working and deserve more funding,” Zayan wrote. “But existing performance-tracking tools (like Excel spreadsheets) must be manually updated, which is a cumbersome, time-consuming and error-prone process. In fact, many governments told us it takes them between two days and two weeks to collect data from departments, convert all the data to the same format, and report on it.”

Because OpenGov’s solutions already tap into data from across a government’s departments and is based in the cloud, Zayan wrote its performance tool can offer automatic updates at a faster speed. The company has about 1,600 customers already using its data tools.

The product launch builds new capacity for OpenGov to compete with Socrata, OpenGov’s main rival for government clients among open data vendors. Socrata is older than OpenGov and already had its own performance measurement product.

Ben Miller is the associate editor of data and business for Government Technology. His reporting experience includes breaking news, business, community features and technical subjects. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno, and lives in Sacramento, Calif.