Benchmarking Tools For Municipal Officials – Budget Season Edition

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Understanding how your community performs relative to its peers is critical in effectively scrutinizing municipal budgets. Pioneer Institute has developed a free online tool, MassAnalysis, with the most up-to-date information available from the Department of Revenue and FBI to help you do just that.

With a couple of clicks, you can develop a dashboard for your community based on its revenues, expenditures, demographics, employment, crime, debt, education, financial strength, taxes and transportation. For example, this is a graph of the City of Worcester’s revenue:



On MassAnalysis, you can also generate a peer group using our peer finder, which considers up to ten measures in order to benchmark performance on revenues, expenditures, employment, demographics, crime, debt, education and taxes. In this example, the tool selected peers for the Town of Maynard using ten of the peer metrics. Based on the selection, we picked revenues to review and with a click we were able to see how Maynard ranked among its peers:


Visit to see how your town ranks and let us know what you think.

For budgeting guidance, please see Pioneer’s Guide to Sound Fiscal Management for Municipalities.


How well do your local public schools and school district perform? How do they compare with other Massachusetts schools and districts? At, Town Meeting and town committee members can equip themselves with facts. The site is also meant for parents seeking better educational choices for their children, teachers and administrators who want to know how their school stacks up, and researchers looking for hard data.