City launches Transparent Richmond platform

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Richmond City Hall

In an effort to increase transparency in government operations, Richmond just launched Transparent Richmond, a citywide open data and performance reporting system powered by Tyler Technologies’ Socrata platform.

The new system offers the community a user-friendly way to access municipal info such as financial data, major development projects and infrastructure improvement projects, according to Richmond Mayor Tom Butt’s office.

It currently encompasses more than 300 datasets, visualizations, and performance measures, per the city, many of which will include updates on a monthly, weekly or daily basis.

“People want to know how well their government is addressing issues they care about,” said Mayor Tom Butt. “Our open data platform is designed to make information gathering easier and more accessible than ever before, and that’s a great benefit for both the public and city staff,” the mayor continued.

In 2016, the city launched its first open data platform in line with an Obama administration effort to make more police data public. On the heels of this launch, the city introduced a Climate Action Plan open data site, per the statement from the Mayor’s Office.

By rolling out Transparent Richmond, the City’s overriding aim is “to improve the collective understanding of all city services, automate performance data to help track and meet budget and service goals, and leverage evidence-based analysis to develop innovative solutions that improve the quality of city services,” per the statement.

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t fix it,’” said Mayor Butt, referencing an age-old adage. “Ultimately, this online tool will help the city make more data informed decisions and be even more accountable to the community,” he said.

In the future, the City plans to plans to add additional datasets and visualizations. The community is invited to nominate new ideas for the site.