Cities focus on data as machine-readable reporting on the horizon
A recent article on Cities Today examines how local governments in the US can maximise federal funding by using (machine-readable) data. With the US government investing significantly in municipal infrastructure, local governments are leveraging data to understand their needs, and to make smarter decisions about how to spend funding.
Julie Demuth, Assistant Director of Budget and Performance for Pierce County, said: “How we communicate data is essential. Communication is probably even more important than the data itself. You can put a ton of data out there and make it available to the public but if it’s not consumable or understandable, it really defeats the purpose.”
With the recent passing of the Financial Data Transparency Act (FDTA), which could implement XBRL for municipal financial reporting in the US, the need for consumable, understandable data is at the forefront right now. Machine-readable data would allow for easier access to information on financial performance of municipalities and improve data accuracy. XBRL implementation would also allow the federal government to better monitor the use of funds and provide oversight. Ultimately, making data machine-readable should result in saving staff time, which can be better dedicated to impactful projects and service delivery.
An increase in machine readable data could help municipalities to make data-driven decisions and use funding efficiently, while also improving transparency and accountability. With FDTA implementation on the agenda this year, our eyes will be on the US, encouraging exactly that.
Read the article here.