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US city launches interactive platform that measures smart city data

A US city has introduced an interactive platform which will use live data to measure the city's metrics in relation to its performance, help demonstrate its transparency and encourage accountability. The city of St. Petersburg in Florida announced the launch of its innovative new platform as part of its overall strategic approach towards becoming a leading smart city in the United States.

The platform is entitled the St Pete Stat and is comprised of the following components: Project Stats, a tool which examines all current city development projects. Performance Stat, a tool which measures the performance of city departments and Open Stat, which is a data inventory tool that's published for citizens to consumer and digest.

Mayor of St Petersburg, Rick Kriseman expressed his delight at the launch of the platform and said the innovation will offer residents greater levels of transparency.

The Mayor said, "We have been growing our stat program and integrating data into our work at City Hall for a while now, but this is truly the first time we've faced this amount of data outward so that our residents can learn more and hold us accountable."

In her monthly column in the Tampa Bay Reporter, St Pete Stat coordinator Debbie Volk highlights that there is no data shortage in the city, but stressed the importance of consumable data in order for it to tell a story and be utilized correctly.

She explains that she coordinated several discovery sessions with departments throughout the city to start compiling data and learn how to best tell the story of the department's accomplishments and projects.

In her column Volk says, "I learned quickly that it's crucial for data to be shared across departments. Since data is primarily used to improve processes, timeliness, quality of work, departments expressed the need for other department data to improve their work. It was clear more than a simple dashboard to display information was needed. An interactive platform that allowed for both city departments and citizens to find data, information and find out what work the city is doing was the answer."

In January this year, the city launched Stat Map, the first in a series of St Pete Stat tools. Stat Map shows a snapshot by location of the city's response to residents through code enforcement, SeeClickFix and police calls for service. Residents are able to sign up for custom-tailored alerts and follow trends for anywhere in the city.