Local governments are not immune to the rising demand for more accountability in government run services and programs, and the expenditure of public funds. Elected officials and citizens alike want to know what these programs accomplish for the public investment made. To date, the response to these questions and demands has been to establish some basic performance measures such as calls received, response times, work orders processed, pot holes filled, etc. There is seldom, if ever, an analysis of how these measures relate to the vision or mission of the organization; what these measures indicate about productivity; how the costs to the organization relate to the outcomes; and, there is no connection made to quality. In order to make this jump from basic KPIs to data that supports strategic decision making, counties and cities will need to move toward analytics-based performance enterprise management.
Analytics-based enterprise performance management offers the ability to optimize the efficiency and effectiveness of all of the functions of a local government by aligning all resources to established objectives, measure results and costs against targets, and analyze this data to identify opportunities for improvement. More simply stated, it is a method of integrating financial and performance data to create a clear picture of the cost and effectiveness of all the functions and services of local government. When predictive analytics is added, local governments can determine how costs can be reduced and service levels improved across the organization.
For example, traffic safety is dependent upon the police department operating an effective program to control speed, intersection safety, impaired driving or other motorist related behavior. Congestion management is often the responsibility of the engineering department and signalization management group. (Yes, that group exists.) Traffic management, thoroughfare planning and site plan approval is the responsibility of the engineering and planning departments. The ability to integrate all of these related data sources and associated costs and apply analytics is key. Decision makers get a clear picture of how safe a city is at a particular point in time, and predictive capabilities to to know what changes will create a safer city.
Some people may equate "local" with "small", but local governments are large and complex and ripe for the use of analytics-based enterprise performance management.