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Mayor Walsh launches open source CityScore toolkit, highlights improvements to City services

August 17, 2016

Mayor's Office

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Mayor's Office

The open source toolkit will allow other cities and organizations to implement their own version of CityScore®.

BOSTON - Tuesday, August 16, 2016 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIT) today launched an open source toolkit for the City of Boston's daily performance management system, CityScore. The open source toolkit will allow other cities and organizations to implement their own version of CityScore. CityScore compiles key performance metrics from city departments every day to provide an at-a-glance view of the City's overall performance.

"With CityScore, Boston has an opportunity to recognize our outstanding departments and programs, and identify which services we need to focus additional time and resources on," said Mayor Walsh. "Our goal in Boston is to best serve our constituents, and CityScore is an invaluable, daily review of how we are serving Boston residents. I look forward to sharing our successful model with cities across the country."

The City of Boston's Analytics Team, under the Department of Innovation and Technology, today launched the toolkit to bring Boston's performance innovation to a wider audience. Using the CityScore toolkit, cities, organizations or individuals can now use the City's toolkit to build their own, customizable version of CityScore.

Providence, Rhode Island; Miami, Florida and South Bend, Indiana have volunteered for city user testing. The CityScore toolkit can be found on GitHub.

"Open source software is a model for self-sustaining development," said Jascha Franklin-Hodge, Boston's Chief Information Officer. "Other cities similar to Boston have their own analytics teams, and in opening up our CityScore model to a wider audience, we look forward to collaborating with cities and organizations to make our tool even better."

In addition to the launch of the CityScore toolkit, Boston has released future plans for CityScore: adding additional content reflective of fiscal year 2017 priorities, as well as equipping all Cabinets with the tools needed to visualize and drive performance.

The City of Boston utilizes CityScore on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Each day, metrics are displayed on the CityScore dashboard, where the public, Mayor Walsh, managers and City staff review the metrics. On a weekly basis, reports are compiled to track the City's week-to-week performance, and on a monthly basis, formal, in-depth discussions are held to discuss opportunities to improve service delivery based on performance outlined in CityScore.

Since its creation in January 2016, CityScore has led to several improvements within City services. By tracking Emergency Medical Services (EMS) response time through CityScore, officials found that increases in visitors and the City's resident population over the past several years led to a rise in emergency medical 911 calls, yet EMS' budget had not grown to allow them to hire more emergency medical technicians and replace aging ambulances. As a result, Mayor Walsh prioritized funding for EMS in the fiscal year 2017 budget. Ten replacement ambulances will be purchased and there will be a class of 20 new emergency medical technicians (EMTs) to serve Boston neighborhoods.

Additionally, CityScore has helped support an 18% increase in fixing street light outages within 10 days as well as streamlined processes for repairing traffic signals.  

About CityScore®

CityScore is an initiative designed to inform the the public, Mayor and City managers about the overall health of the City at a moment's notice by aggregating key performance metrics into one number. CityScore allows people to monitor the delivery of city services, and 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.

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.