6 Ways to Take Your Transparency Portal to the Next Level

July 14, 2016 – Tom Zayan


We’ve discussed the obvious and hidden benefits of financial transparency in prior posts, and if you are ready to start getting more from your OpenGov transparency site, then these six tips are what you need to get going.

1. Curate a list of the important views for your citizens

Data can be overwhelming, and citizens learn best when information is presented as stories with context. To connect citizens with the insights they need, build a set of “Saved Views” you feel are important for your organization.  

For example, the City of Alpharetta presents compelling saved views to citizens:


2. Create reports for “hot topics”

Finances are at the nucleus of government, but there are always hot topics that come up during council meetings. These can range from results of satisfaction surveys to issued dog licenses!  Keep this data online so everyone stays updated.  

For example, the City of Santa Clarita reports results on citizen satisfaction with employees:


3. Personalize your site

Add your city logo, a report description and attach supporting documentation (like your budget book or strategic plan). This helps make the site more relatable to citizens.

4. Annotate important transactions

Some transactions will inevitably catch the public eye. By adding notes to important transactions, you can proactively answer questions before they come in.  

5. Keep your site updated

There is nothing worse for citizens than going to an outdated transparency site. Update your data at least once a month to ensure citizens can gain the information they need – and reaffirm your government’s commitment to transparency.

6. Promote on social media

Draw attention to your OpenGov site by promoting on social media and your homepage! Your citizens spend hours on social media, and by meeting them on Facebook, Twitter, and your government’s homepage, you can give them more opportunities to learn about their governments.

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