What Works City Feature: Fort Collins, CO

Taking Data Citywide

The Opportunity
Mayor Wade Troxell and City Manager Darin Atteberry asked What Works Cities to help advance the City’s use of data and evidence to improve its ability to deliver results for residents, both through increasing internal use of city data as well as making more data available through the City’s open data portal.

Our Work Together
What Works Cities experts at the Center for Government Excellence (GovEx) at Johns Hopkins University and Results for America worked with the City of Fort Collins to develop foundational tools and methodologies to increase the City’s ability to treat data as a strategic asset. These methodologies included leveraging data more effectively for reliable insights and more efficient service provision, and making data more consumable and readily available for residents and departmental stakeholders by developing processes to inventory, prioritize, release, and maintain data publicly.

What Works Cities and Fort Collins worked together to leverage its data as a strategic asset, increase internal use of data, and make key data more accessible to the public.

Summary of Key Accomplishments
This work in data management lays the groundwork for the City to incorporate data and evidence in a more systematized and robust manner prior to the hiring of a data manager who will work across all areas of the City. What Works Cities and the City of Fort Collins worked together to accomplish the following:

Leveraging data for more efficient decision-making
• Promoted the value of a data inventory among city staff
• Completed a citywide data inventory
• Developed a plan for data governance
• Established a core data governance team to advance the work
• Trained staff in techniques for reviewing data quality and in the fundamentals of data analysis, including visualization techniques

What’s Next
With this work, Fort Collins has built a critical foundation for using data and evidence to deliver improved results for its residents. The City should continue to build on this work by completing its data inventory and using it to prioritize data sets for quality improvement and publication. Fort Collins should also continue to formalize data governance across City Hall, expanding on the foundation that Mayor Troxell has compelled his team to build.