Dashboard reporting has never been more important to the government. Considering the humungous streams of data collected through government agencies and programs, the challenge is how to make sense of these data in a way that they will benefit the organization and perhaps save large amounts of money as a result. The use of this type of reporting has been exalted by the US.
In the US
The US administration flaunted the advantages of using dashboards during the presidency of Barack Obama. They said that using a dashboard is an effective way of collating and filtering data so that these data become useful to decision makers. They credited the dashboard for being able to make them see better the implications of data and act on them appropriately.
One example cited by the government is how a dashboard helped them see the status of their investments, particular in pursuing the advance of technology.
The claim from the administration of Obama was that they were able to make better decisions using the data presented by the dashboard. According to them, this led to billions of dollars in savings and cutting delivery time for technological projects.
The US Congress has communicated a positive sentiment on the matter of using a government dashboard for federal decision-making and operations. It expressed interest in increasing the use of transparency tools, such as dashboards, across federal spending programs.
It is expected that more efforts will be exerted towards this goal and the use of dashboards may even be continued to be implemented after Obama relinquishes his office.
With US leading the initiatives, other governments are expected to follow suit. One needs to ask these questions:
- In what ways can government dashboards benefit their organizations?
- What are the important government metrics to be included in a dashboard? What sorts of Key Performance Indicator (KPI) matter to government operations?
To begin with, government executive dashboards are applications used by leaders of governments. In general, these applications can be used by leaders to proactively view important metrics, determine trends, devise better management strategies, and raise questions based on the results shown on the dashboard.
Important Government Dashboard KPIs
Roundtable discussions prior to installation of such a system must be done. In the discussions, determining useful KPIs must be taken up. It has been shown that the efficiency of such tools is largely determined by the kind of data inputted and the results that a dashboard shows.
What KPIs can then be suggested for inclusion to government dashboards? Here are some for your scorecards:
- Arts & Culture – This includes attendance in cultural events and festivals, numbers of these types of events, etc.
- Building – This includes commercial projects and their values, number of permits and inspections performed, cost of historic preservation, etc.
- Citizen – The number of social media subscribers and satisfaction levels of citizens on the appearance of government buildings may be included.
- Economic development – You may include commercial property value, employers participating in job fairs, tourism tax revenue and so on.
- Education – Public library use, graduation rate, citizens with bachelor degrees are examples of items you can include here.
- Environment – You can include in this section days with good quality air, number of hybrid buses, landfill data and more.
- Finance – Include budgeting ratio, debt per capita, full-time employees, bond rating and total revenue generated.
- Housing – On housing, data from affordable housing projects should be analyzed. How much people pay for housing is another important item. Data from homeless people should be included as well.
- Human Resources – Diversity in the newly-hired employees is important. Current workforce diversity is also important. You can have an in-depth analysis by categorizing data according to gender, ethnicity, race, socioeconomic status and so on.
Promote government goals
One report says that dashboards are mere tools, and that the effectiveness of using them depends on how they are used. The suggestion from the report is that users must be able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of these tools. It added that dashboards must be beneficial to promoting the goals of the government.
The ultimate benefit that dashboards can give is improved “transparency” in governments. This system supports efforts to improve accountability among officials and better transparency not only within the organization but also with the people they serve.