Recipe for Success - Economic Intelligence Dashboard

The Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning & Economic Development (DMPED) in Washington, DC uses a robust internal dashboard of the city’s vital economic statistics to deliver performance metrics to the Mayor, City Administrator and other essential city employees.

In January 2016, they released the Economic Intelligence Dashboard, opening up much of these data and visualizations about employment and labor, construction activity, and real estate development to all in Washington and beyond.

By releasing data and visualizations that directly inform city administrators’ priorities, DMPED aims to spark policy discussions and prompt new private-sector applications that grow affordable housing and income and wages.

Ingredients:

  • Allocated staff time to select, compile, cleanse, organize, and visualize data;
  • A low (or no) cost, replicable dashboard design;
  • A plan for automation and refinement of data and visualizations based on feedback;

 

Directions:

1.     Identify data. In Washington, open data was compiled from across multiple sources and hosted on Github.io. Alternatively, it may be read directly into a dashboard from an API, when that is an option.

2.     Develop or adapt a user-friendly visual dashboard template, such as DC’s open source sample, to display data. Other guide templates include: DOCter, CFPB, and 18F.

3.     Make dashboard accessible to the public through an easy to find online portal.

4.     Encourage community and business leaders to provide feedback about content and usability. In Washington, comments are being compiled from Twitter #EIDashboard, emails at dmped.econintel@dc.gov, Github pull requests, and public events.

 

Outcomes:

  • A reliable, comprehensive source of Washington’s economic indicators for community and business leaders.
  • A platform to start data-driven conversations about social change and economic development policy in Washington.
  • Clarity in communication about available data, performance metrics, and operations of public agencies
  • Solicited suggestions to refine data to meet resident and business needs more directly.

 

For more information:

Check out DC's Economic Intelligence Dashboard at: http://open.dc.gov/economic-intelligence/


Photo Credit: Ted Eytan
Research support was provided by Stephen Madsen.