Mayors Agree: Data Transparency Builds Trust, Drives Results

Four leaders of U.S. cities celebrated International Open Data Day by discussing why strong open data practices and improved governance go hand-in-hand

How have you used data to communicate with your residents and do the work of city government during the COVID-19 pandemic or other recent crises?

Mayor Broome.

How has your experience been when it comes to sharing data across government lines?

Mayor Berke.

“When a pandemic hits…the organization has got to respond. And it’s only going to respond with data if that’s the culture that you built.” — Mayor Andy Berke

Mayor Broome: Having data to make accurate and timely decisions is very important. I conducted a daily call at the beginning of the pandemic with our area’s elected officials. Every day we were sharing data with other elected officials, so it would not only help me in guiding my decisions, but these other elected officials were responsible for constituencies as well and it did help us to collaboratively work together.

Is data ingrained in your culture? Or do you still feel at times that you have to wing it a bit when making decisions?

Mayor Broome: Changing the culture of an organization with nearly 5,000 employees is a marathon, not a sprint. Since I’ve been mayor, we’ve made considerable progress in how our departments and their teams adopt a mindset of data-driven decision-making. I have to tell you, “data, data, data” is something we reiterate all the time. It’s becoming part of the fabric of our City-Parish government.

Mayor Strickland.

Do you believe data is helping your communities trust their local government more because the communications you’re providing are based on facts and data?

Mayor Broome: Since I’ve been mayor, I’ve consistently told my team and have made the word transparency part of the fabric of our administration. It’s one thing to say we’re transparent, but it’s an entirely different thing to then point to the dozens of datasets and millions of data records that are available to the public 24/7/365.

Mayor Frank Scott, Jr.

Helping leading cities across the U.S. use data and evidence to improve results for their residents. Launched by @BloombergDotOrg in April 2015.