The Office of Performance Management is changing our name. Beginning today, we’ll be known as DataKC. Over the past nine years, our office has worked to build a citywide culture in the City of Kansas City, Missouri that embraces the role of data in improving city services. As DataKC, we are implementing a Scope of Services that encapsulates four areas where we will partner with department staff to further the City’s use of data: Customer Feedback; Managing with Data; Continuous Improvement; and Data Storytelling. Our new name is not just symbolic. DataKC is how we move forward as a city together.
A small revolution has happened in government over the last decade. It started with asking “how can we measure what we do?” which led to “what do our customers think?” followed by “how can we improve what we do for them?” The City Manager’s Office of Performance Management has worked to develop and support KCMO’s data-driven management and culture since 2009.
Over that time, the City of Kansas City, Missouri has developed a framework for publicly reporting the city’s performance data (KCStat), created a strategic plan (the Citywide Business Plan), launched an open data portal (OpenData KC), and honed our focus on one of our most important sources of data (the Resident Survey). Nationally, KCMO’s progress in becoming more data-driven, along with the work of many other cities’, has been supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies and their partner organizations through the What Works Cities Program. KCMO has been recognized with a What Works Cities Silver Certification in 2017 and seven consecutive Certificates of Excellence in Performance Management from the International City/County Management Association (ICMA).
A core principle of our office is continuous improvement – always evaluating our progress and our challenges and iterating our strategies accordingly. Over the last year, we have worked on the next phase of KCMO’s data-driven efforts with help from Results for America. This partnership has provided crucial research, facilitation, and assistance.
As we look toward the next 10 years of data-driven government in KCMO, we have concluded that sustaining KCMO’s investment in data-driven management means ensuring that these skill sets and norms are fully integrated into department operations. To get there requires working hand in hand with departmental staff and supporting their needs as individuals and teams. For the first time, DataKC will be officially open to project applications from across the organization. Any staff member can apply for assistance.
Each of the Scope of Service areas offers multiple opportunities for projects, from developing surveys, to improving data collection methods, to facilitating process improvements, to creating impactful data visualization. We are excited to partner with staff and bring our skills and resources to bear in order to improve department capacity for data-driven management.
In keeping with our principles of customer-centered design, we have tested this scope of services with staff and incorporated their feedback to ensure it makes sense to the people we are working with. In alignment with our continuous improvement philosophy, we will certainly be iterating further on our approach to ensure it best aligns with both the organization’s needs and the evolving best practices.
We believe that DataKC’s Scope of Services provides a roadmap for the organization to sustain and grow its data-driven practices. In addition to work on Scope of Service projects, we will continue our dedication to the City’s core data practices: KCStat, Open Data KC, resident employee surveys, and training programs to introduce new skill sets to our employee base.
DataKC looks forward to continuing to build connections with local, regional, and national partners who are equally interested in using data to improve outcomes. Please give us a shout-out at firstname.lastname@example.org.