DIG IT AWARD WINNER: OPEN DATA
- By Amanda Ziadeh
- Oct 07, 2016
When officials in Prince George’s County, Md., prioritized government transparency, it sparked a multiyear, countywide open-data initiative. At the heart of the project is Open Prince George’s County.
OpenPGC is a Socrata-powered display layer for a centralized data warehouse that connects county data sources, customer relationship management applications and case management tools. The Office of Information Technology wanted to access every major system that provided services to county residents and supported back-office functions, CIO Vennard Wright told GCN.
The platform allows government employees to tap into datasets and real-time information via dashboards, applications and interactive tools. It includes data tables, performance reports and GIS-based maps.
OpenPGC tracks the county’s performance in areas as diverse as education, urban planning and public safety, and it helps officials make data-driven decisions about where to allocate resources. For example, one tool shows how the operating budget is being spent, and another tracks how long it takes customer service representatives to answer and resolve 311 service requests.
The platform also supports CountyStat, a program that seeks to deliver results on government operations through analysis and accountability. The CountyStat team uses OpenPGC data to measure internal performance management. It can find gaps in citizen services, make recommendations for improvements and analyze policies affecting county government.
The data is also available to the public on OpenPGC’s open-data portal so residents and business can see how resources are being spent.
The county is continually updating OpenPGC to connect more datasets and agencies. The initiative has grown to include data, budget and performance dashboards, and the county plans to include predictive analytics capabilities.
Amanda Ziadeh is a Reporter/Producer for GCN.
Prior to joining 1105 Media, Ziadeh was a contributing journalist for USA Today Travel's Experience Food and Wine site. She's also held a communications assistant position with the University of Maryland Office of the Comptroller, and has reported for the American Journalism Review, Capitol File Magazine and DC Magazine.
Ziadeh is a graduate of the University of Maryland where her emphasis was multimedia journalism and French studies.
Click here for previous articles by Ms. Ziadeh or connect with her on Twitter: @aziadeh610.