Memo to Mitchell — Improve Boston About Results

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To: Mitchell Weiss
CC: Lisa Signori, Chris Osgood

Boston About Results should be the centerpiece of the Mayor’s plan for “making over basic city services”.

Here’s some key steps to fixing it:

1) Bring the data to life: Don’t break the data up into scores of static PDFs. Provide the data in multiple, user-friendly formats, like Excel, so it can be easily analyzed.
2) Make data comparable: Right now, it shows year-to-date data for this year and full year data for previous years. Provide apples-to-apples data so users can see how this year’s performance stacks up against previous years.
3) Open up the process: Other cities have formal ‘citistat’ meetings and some release the detailed analyses used in these meetings. Let the public know how the Boston About Results data is used – who meets? How often?
4) Expand coverage: Economic development, land use/planning and detailed school performance should be the next additions to BAR.