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3 Ways OpenGov Maps Helps You Manage Your Government

By | Product | No Comments

Every day, your agency strives to ensure it serves the entire community. This often requires analyzing geographic information, using maps, to better allocate resources and track results. However, many legacy technologies are purpose-built for GIS teams, making it difficult for managers and view create maps on the fly.

We built OpenGov Maps from the ground up to provide self-service analysis to everyone in your agency. Simply upload your location based data into OpenGov, and in a matter of seconds, you can explore this information using a variety of dynamic map visualizations. Here are three ways we think OpenGov Maps can help your agency:

Uncover Economic Development and Growth Opportunities

  • Analyze sales tax revenues using OpenGov’s dynamic heat maps.
  • Quickly discover areas of growth or stagnation to better plan economic development campaigns and resource allocations.

OpenGov’s Finance Expert and Sausalito, California’s former Finance Director Charlie Francis explains how “a key priority in government is to balance service delivery against revenues across residential, commercial, and industrial parcels. Visualizing this data in a heat map reveals areas that may require economic vitalization, enabling officials to optimize for future service delivery.”

Manage Grants and Ensure Compliance With Geographic Requirements

Many grants stipulate that grant funds should be allocated across projects and programs across the jurisdiction’s physical boundaries. OpenGov Maps enables you to demonstrate the even distribution of these funds, and communicate your initiatives to council, constituents, grantors, and staff.

Communicate Your Capital Project Priorities

  • Better communicate the status and magnitude of ongoing and proposed capital improvement projects.
  • Empower your citizens to see which projects are in a specific district or neighborhood.
  • Foster collaboration among businesses, constituents, and other stakeholders to better inform on the city’s priorities.

Conclusion

Maps is a powerful new feature of OpenGov Intelligence, OpenGov’s easy-to-use, self-service management reporting and analytics platform. Maps helps you better communicate about your capital projects, gain insights into your building permits, visualize trends in public safety, or analyze any other location-based data.

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Secretary George Shultz Visits OpenGov; Talks Budgeting

By | Insights, Life at OpenGov | No Comments

Today, OpenGov was honored to host Former Secretary of State George P. Shultz and OpenGov Co-Founder and Chairman Joe Lonsdale for a fireside chat with our Co-Founder and CEO, Zac Bookman. The OpenGov team huddled for an hour to listen and ask questions as the trio discussed world affairs and shared stories.

The conversation ranged from the expected to the sentimental. Secretary Shultz reaffirmed his simultaneous desires not to endorse a presidential candidate and to help the next president craft foreign policy. He also revealed a regret millions share: not writing to his mother more. A portrait of her hangs in the Secretary’s office.

Most of the talk, however, centered on a topic that rarely makes the front page. Or page two. But the topic enables effective, competent government. It puts uniforms on soldiers, repairs our bridges, and educates our children.

It’s the budget process. The annual or biannual cycle governments use to allocate public money and implement policies that citizens’ elected representatives enact.

As Director of the Office of Management and Budget from 1970-1972, Secretary Shultz helped craft the President’s budget proposal and manage budget negotiations with Congress. The budget process today is broken at all levels of government: the last time Congress passed all 12 appropriation bills to fund federal agencies on time was 1996. In The Coming Transformation, Joe and Zac write how “government administration and security realms rely on closed platforms with slow back-office processes and excess manual data entry.”

Secretary Shultz reaffirmed the magnitude of these challenges. Because of inadequate budgeting tools that do not enable true collaboration, budgeting power has become too centralized in the White House. Secretary Shultz explained how centralization over-politicizes the budget process, limits input from those closest to government operations, and prevents the natural inter- and intra-agency negotiations necessary to any budget process. He believes that, by making budgeting more collaborative and inclusive, the budget process can create a more operational instead of partisan climate – achieving improved operational effectiveness.

We agree, and believe all levels of government can benefit from better budgeting:

  • A recent article explains how Greenwood, Indiana’s Police Department discovered using modern budgeting software that its 2017 budget “did not account for enough police cars to accommodate an extended staff. Finding the money for the squad cars was much easier than it would have been before Budget Builder. ‘We collectively made additional reductions on certain items based on the past in order to accumulate money to buy those cars,’ [Greenwood’s Controller Adam] Stone said.” In other words, Budget Builder caught an error before it happened, saving hours of clerical work and a scramble to find funds in during the year.
  • Burnet, Texas used modern budgeting software to cut time spent on the budget’s clerical work in half, creating more time for the collaboration and strategic thinking necessary to craft and implement effective policy.

An excerpt of a fireside chat with Secretary Shultz, OpenGov Co-Founder and Chairman Joe Lonsdale, and OpenGov Co-Founder and CEO Zac Bookman

Imagine successes like Greenwood’s and Burnet’s across the world, at every level of government. These triumphs are what Secretary Shultz repeatedly emphasized will restore effective, competent government. This is the vision we at OpenGov work every day to achieve.

We thank Secretary Shultz and Joe for joining us today, sharing stories, and inspiring our team.

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OpenGov Streamlines Budgeting Process for Local Governments with Launch of Budget Builder

By | Press Releases | No Comments

Government leaders report time savings of over 50% during their budget cycles, reduced errors, and broader participation using OpenGov’s new Budget Builder software

REDWOOD CITY, Calif – September 14, 2016 – OpenGov, the world’s first integrated cloud solution for public sector budgeting, reporting, and open data, today announced OpenGov Budget Builder – a smart, streamlined solution that transforms how governments complete their critical annual budget cycle each fiscal year. Governments can now use one platform to prepare the budget, report on spending against the budget, analyze other performance metrics, and broadly inform elected officials and citizens – enabling data-driven decision-making and improved outcomes for the public.

The budget touches communities’ most pressing issues. It allocates public money among competing priorities such as public safety, infrastructure reinvestment, and libraries. This process should run as efficiently and transparently as possible, aligning the current budget with the government’s long-term strategic plan. However, before OpenGov Budget Builder, technological barriers limited collaboration and forced budget teams to spend thousands of hours reconciling dozens of Excel spreadsheets, exchanging email-based proposals, and performing clerical work instead of evaluating proposals, planning proactively, and exploring alternative solutions.

OpenGov Budget Builder solves these problems.

“Budget season has always been an ordeal – I worked late every night, plus through weekends. OpenGov has changed this entire process, giving me back my life and opening up enough time for me to focus on other priorities for the city,” said Connie Maxwell, Budget Director in Burnet, Texas. “Gone are the days of digging around in spreadsheets and enduring lengthy proposal submission cycles. OpenGov has streamlined much of the clerical work involved in budgeting, and I could not be more grateful.”

With Budget Builder, governments of any size can:

  • Collaborate across the organization: Instead of sending dozens of spreadsheets back and forth, departmental budget teams can submit proposals and supporting documents into a central online system. Budget managers and analysts can then approve, comment on, or reject proposals. Managing the entire budget process on a secure, multi-user system reduces errors and enables all budget team members and stakeholders to stay in sync.
  • Save analysts and managers hundreds of hours: By eliminating the need to constantly reconcile dozens of spreadsheets in Excel, scour printed documents, and comb through email chains, Budget Builder lets budget teams and analysts spend their time focusing on crafting a budget that delivers the best services to citizens.
  • Integrate with reporting and open data: Budget teams can create interactive Budget Milestones reports to update elected officials and other stakeholders across the organization. After elected officials adopt a budget, governments can report on performance against the budget, manage budget amendments, and share results with citizens.

“The budget is the heart of the enterprise and money is policy. We’re excited to transform how governments do their most critical work,” explains OpenGov’s CEO and Co-Founder Zac Bookman, “With OpenGov, public agencies can deliver better outcomes through improved budgeting, accurate reporting, data-driven decisions, and clearer communication.”

OpenGov is creating the world’s first Smart Government Platform––the complete cloud solution for budgeting, reporting, and open data. With seamless integration into governments’ existing financial systems, OpenGov gives public agencies immediate insights from their data and maximizes the investment they’ve made in their existing financial systems.

State and local governments across the country are joining the OpenGov Network at a rapid pace; more than 1,200 governments now use the platform including recent launches in San Antonio, Santa Fe, and Washington, DC. Additionally, OpenGov has analyzed more than $1 trillion in revenues and expenditures nationwide, giving these agencies new insights into their data.

About OpenGov

OpenGov’s Smart Government Platform is the world’s first integrated cloud solution for public sector budgeting, reporting, and open data. Used by over 1,200 public agencies in the rapidly growing OpenGov Network™, OpenGov’s industry-leading technology streamlines the budget process, improves outcomes, and builds trust with the public. Founded in 2012 with headquarters in Silicon Valley, OpenGov works with leading governments of all sizes including the State Treasurer of Ohio, Minneapolis, MN; Maricopa County, AZ; and Washington, DC. OpenGov is backed by leading investors including Andreessen Horowitz, 8VC, and Thrive Capital.  Learn more at www.opengov.com.

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