Boston dashboard

Boston dashboard tracks strategic goals

Boston has launched a dashboard that helps residents track the city’s progress on achieving its Imagine Boston 2030 goals.

The initiative is Boston’s first citywide plan since 1965. It focuses on 13 areas for improvement, including education, job creation, infrastructure, housing and commuting.

The dashboard allows residents to view baseline metrics and plans for improvement. As work progresses on the goals, graphs will illustrate how the metrics change.

“We wanted to…find a way in which residents can engage with the metrics in a visible way, but also be able to hold the city accountable,” Natalia Urtubey, executive director for Imagine Boston 2030, told GCN.

The dashboard was built using R, a language that’s good for processing data, and Shiny, a library that allows dashboards to be built fairly easily, said Kayla Patel, a data and performance analyst at the city’s Department of Innovation and Technology.

Christina Kim, a research manager at the Boston Planning and Development Agency, said the data is gathered from a variety of sources, including the census, the police department, the local health commission and other agencies. The city plans to update the information annually.

One of the city’s first efforts with an open-data dashboard was CityScore, which combined a number of metrics into a single daily score. Imagine Boston 2030’s dashboard is meant to be used for long-term planning and transparency rather than the real-time status updates CityScore provided, officials said.

About the Author

Matt Leonard is a reporter/producer at GCN.

Before joining GCN, Leonard worked as a local reporter for The Smithfield Times in southeastern Virginia. In his time there he wrote about town council meetings, local crime and what to do if a beaver dam floods your back yard. Over the last few years, he has spent time at The Commonwealth Times, The Denver Post and WTVR-CBS 6. He is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, where he received the faculty award for print and online journalism.

Leonard can be contacted at or follow him on Twitter @Matt_Lnrd.

Click here for previous articles by Leonard.

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