How Hayward, California Increased Internal Reporting Flexibility Amid Uncertainty
POPULATION: 149,500 | AGENCY TYPE: City | ANNUAL BUDGET: $286 Million
Providing on-demand access to internal data has helped Hayward’s management team address the city’s strategic priorities. (Photo: OpenGov)
As stated in the city’s FY 2017 budget, “The previous recession forced the organization to make hard choices about which services to provide to the community, and how best to provide them. Through it all, the organization has continued to do more with less, based on a strong ethic of commitment to the community we serve; and to do it with creative energy and an innovative approach.”
OpenGov’s On-Demand, Flexible Reporting Aids Staff
Claussen and his team implemented the OpenGov Smart Government Platform™ to empower the city’s departments with on-demand data available as intuitive visualizations and reporting. Because departments could access information relevant to their own functions in real time and create reports they determined were meaningful, the entire organization experienced benefits.
Specifically, opening internal reporting beyond the city’s finance-focused Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software was integral. Claussen noted that OpenGov’s ease of use and on-demand availability to non-finance staff reduced other departments’ reliance on the finance team to run informational reports from the ERP system to meet their needs. Furthermore, for department heads who struggled to gain insights from the ERP reporting, the OpenGov solution has offered much-needed flexibility.
Hayward’s departments, including the Fire Department, increased the flexibility of their internal reporting, allowing each department to access, visualize, and analyze relevant information online. (Photo: City of Hayward).
The additional flexibility has allowed the non-Finance staff to refocus their time and energy on strategic initiatives rather than manual reporting. “Given the city’s limited resources and growing service demands – a reality other municipalities know all too well – we needed to increase department heads’ engagement with critical, relevant data that impacts their work,” Claussen said.
Embracing an Innovative Approach
Both Hayward’s community and city management value efficiency and innovation. As the FY 2017 budget stated, “...Our executives, managers, and employees are successful in their efforts to identify innovations and define better and more effective ways to deliver services.” In OpenGov, Claussen says the city has found a complementary solution to enhance the city’s efforts. Claussen described the platform as “effective” and “high-quality,” while noting the “passion for innovation” his staff and OpenGov’s team members share.
For a team focused on stewarding their city through uncertain times and doing more with less, integrating the OpenGov platform into the government’s operational workflow provided Hayward’s staff with the ability to better analyze the city’s finances and performance. Leveraging government performance solutions for data-driven decision-making has proven to be a critical asset in addressing the community’s needs and addressing priorities.