You also use Workforce Planning. How has that helped?
OpenGov Workforce Planning has enabled us to make more accurate projections, and it makes modeling much easier. We can easily go in and change cost elements and see what the impacts will be. It’s impressive to be able to see the total cost of all the added wages, and it has improved our understanding of some of the cost streams. Previously, we weren’t doing a good job modeling the cost of other wages, including non-positioned specific wages like overtime. For example, the fire department isn’t $400k total; it’s more like $600k when you add in all the wages and compensation. This has given us a much more accurate picture, so we can better manage our workforce planning and the true impact of each line item. Another great feature is that the end user can go in and develop their own workforce plan. Right now, Finance is the primary user for this, but we can send all departments a user-friendly report.
Are you using OpenGov for civic engagement?
Yes—in fact, we offer training to the media on how to use the tools and have hosted public meetings, as well as met with the local newspaper and members of the public to show them how to use it. It's very beneficial for the media and public to have factual, real-time information when producing materials or understanding issues of concern. The local newspaper usually links directly to reports in OpenGov when they report on financial issues.
You are using the Stories feature of OpenGov as well. Tell us about that experience.
We love Stories. It’s quick to update, allows for flexibility in how we present data, and we can compile data in one central location. This allows people to see all the facts with just a click, and they can easily see the details that led to certain decisions. For example, we hired four additional police officers and the public can go to our Stories page and see the minutes/agenda for the council meetings and narrative that led to that decision. We have a vision of being able to do the entire budget in Stories which will save weeks of staff time.