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CityScore initiative to use data to track delivery of City services

January 15, 2016

Analytics Team

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Analytics Team

The new initiative compiles key performance metrics from City departments each day to provide a view of the City of Boston’s overall performance.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced the launch of CityScore, a new initiative that compiles key performance metrics from city departments every day to provide an at-a-glance view of the City’s overall performance. The CityScore dashboard can be viewed

“The City of Boston is using data in a way that no city has ever done before,” said Mayor Walsh. “I am proud to launch this data platform that recommits us to our pledge of transparency and delivery of excellent city services. This overview of city metrics allows us to take immediate action within our departments to improve city services to make our city safer and smarter.” 

CityScore is designed to provide a transparent platform that allows people to see a nearly real-time indication of the city’s performance. Using metrics that are critical to the overall health of the City, the data is rolled up into a single score that is easy to comprehend. The underlying metrics are also displayed to quickly identify drivers of the score.

In an effort to identify trends over time, CityScore is broken down to track data over a given day, week, month and quarter. Today's launch serves as the first iteration of a platform that will grow, change and expand over time.

"Our team's goal is to provide the best basic city services in the nation," said Chief of Streets Chris Osgood, who helped develop CityScore. "CityScore helps us track our progress and has already been successful in helping us deliver better services to residents. This will be a great tool for us moving forward."

This data allows people to monitor the delivery of city services, and it creates the opportunity to identify areas where the city is excelling and areas in need of improvement.  Scores are determined by comparing current performance to either a target set by the city or a historical performance average.  Scores at or above one indicate the City is surpassing or meeting specified targets or historical averages, scores below one are not. 

CityScore currently tracks measures in the following areas: public safety, economic development, education, innovation and technology, health and human services, basic city services and constituent satisfaction. 

Using tools that already existed in the Department of Innovation and Technology, the Citywide Analytics Team built CityScore using data generated by the city’s departments.

About the City of Boston’s Analytics Team 

The Citywide Analytics Team’s mission is to use data to improve quality of life and to enhance government operations in the City of Boston. By combining modern data analysis and visualizations with a deeply engaged approach to performance improvement and change management, the team works with departments across the City to solve challenging problems, build a more effective government, and deliver better outcomes for people who live and work in Boston.