Governing Magazine – City Finances and the Promise of Data Visualization


In his Governing Magazine column, Stephen Goldsmith, former Deputy Mayor of New York and Mayor of Indianapolis, explores how governments across the country use new cloud-based software to make their financial data more understandable and meaningful to staff and citizens. Goldsmith interviews executives from the Town of Atherton and City of Sausalito to learn how the OpenGov Platform enables governments to become more digital, data-driven and efficient.

The City Manager of Atherton, George Rodericks, states that, “…the open government platform is saving us hundreds of work hours by reducing the time that staff spends sorting through files of accounting data.” By streamlining their process of accessing, analyzing and sharing data, Atherton has been able to communicate more effectively with citizens and the City Council. For more information, read the Atherton – OpenGov Case Study.

Charlie Francis, the Administrative Services Director and Treasurer of Sausalito, also provides insight. He shares that tasks, like compiling annual labor costs, used to be major projects but can now be aggregated and visualized in a matter of minutes. Charlie Francis is a special guest on OpenGov’s upcoming webinar Empower and Engage: Bring Your Financial Data to Life on August 27th.

To learn more about new technologies that help governments save time, improve decision-making and build trust, read the full article on


About Stephen Goldsmith

Stephen Goldsmith is the Daniel Paul Professor of the Practice of Government and the Director of the Innovations in American Government Program at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He currently directs Data-Smart City Solutions, a project to highlight local government efforts to use new technologies that connect breakthroughs in the use of big data analytics with community input to reshape the relationship between government and citizen. He previously served as Deputy Mayor of New York and Mayor of Indianapolis, where he earned a reputation as one of the country’s leaders in public-private partnerships, competition, and privatization. He has written the The Power of Social Innovation; Governing by Network: the New Shape of the Public Sector; Putting Faith in Neighborhoods: Making Cities Work through Grassroots Citizenship and The Twenty-First Century City: Resurrecting Urban America.

Category: Government Finance

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