The initiative provides technical assistance and resources to help cities identify challenges and opportunities for closing the gap between their desire to use data and actual ability to do so.
(TNS) -- Milwaukee is one of six cities to join a Bloomberg Philanthropies initiative aimed at helping them use data to make better decisions.
The What Works Cities initiative, launched in April 2015, is one of the largest-ever philanthropic efforts to enhance the use of data and evidence in the public sector, Bloomberg Philanthropies said. It is partnering with 27 cities in 18 states, organizers said, and plans to add more.
"The What Works Cities resources will enhance our efforts to bring the right tools to policy makers and engage the public around safety, neighborhood revitalization, and economic development," Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said in a statement.
The $42 million initiative aims to help cities make the best use of their data, and make it available to residents, said Sharman Stein, communications director for What Works Cities. "Our bottom-line goal is to make life better for the residents of the cities," she said.
The initiative provides technical assistance, tools and resources, such as helping cities identify challenges and opportunities for closing the gap between their desire to use data in decision-making and actual ability to do so.
"Hopefully this is the start of a strategy that will incorporate technology and data to help make Milwaukee a smarter city," said Matt Richardson, founder of the Milwaukee Data Initiative. "We'll be able to make smarter decisions at the government level, and that to me is really exciting."
The other cities chosen in this round were: Boston; Charlotte and Raleigh, N.C.; Little Rock, Ark.; and Victorville, Calif.
As the amount of digital data swells, many people and government entities are trying to make it more useful to the public. One such effort, called DataUSA, was launched Monday by Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Labs and consulting and auditing firm Deloitte. Its Milwaukee database contains information about the city's economy, demographics, average household income and other factors.
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