Office of Data and Performance

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“The City of Asheville is committed to making data-driven decisions to create equitable outcomes for everyone in our community.  The Office of Data and Performance strives to provide our community with accountability through data access and communication.”

Debra Campbell, Asheville City Manager

 

Mission Statement

The Office of Data and Performance (ODAP) empowers the community and City staff to use data for the creation of equitable outcomes, accountability, and communication.

 

Long Term Goals

  1. Accountability to the community.  We use data to help people in the community understand what the City is doing and stay informed about progress, and we involve them in defining success for its programs.
  2. Consistent focus on outcomes and impact.  We define desired outcomes and impacts for programs and initiatives and document their contribution to community goals. 
  3. Data-driven decision-making.  We use commonly agreed-on metrics (community indicators and program performance measures) that can be used together with the story behind the numbers to guide decision-making, assess community well-being, and measure progress toward collective goals.
  4. Effective data management and governance.  We maintain an inventory of data available and can identify new data that must be collected. We have robust procedures to ensure data quality and avoid unintentional harm, and we maintain automated systems to ensure that strategic datasets are accurate, up-to-date, and accessible.

 


What Are We Doing?

The Office of Data & Performance works collaboratively with City departments and the community to improve City services using data for better, more equitable outcomes for our community. The ODAP Business Plan for 2021 outlines the office’s goals and priorities.

Reparations baseline data support – Ongoing collaboration with Dr. Dwight Mullen to provide the future Reparations Commission with baseline data.

Houselessness data support – Improve how we use data to communicate and assess the impact of the City’s Homeless Initiative. As a first phase, this project will add regular reporting of several standard performance measures on our website.

Community engagement – Initial conversations with community and neighborhood leaders to gain insight into their perspectives on access to City data and services.

American Rescue Plan funding – Support for the development of staff recommendations to City Council for American Rescue Plan funds use.

FY23 budget process – Build on the FY22 budget process to more fully integrate data into the budget decision-making process.

Business Inclusion Office data support – Create better systems for identifying Black, Latinx and women-owned businesses for outreach and documenting staff outreach efforts.

 


First 100 Days – March-June 2021

In the first 100 days of operation, ODAP has been involved in a number of internal and external activities that promote the mission of the office, including:

FY22 Budget Process – ODAP participated in a newly created budget process for the FY22 budget cycle.  This collaborative effort led by the City’s Budget and Forecasting Division examined the allocation of resources through the lens of data application and best practices in performance measurement.  

Reparations Data Collaboration – ODAP collaborated with Dr. Dwight Mullen to gather and create visualizations for a presentation at the second session of the City’s Information and Truth Telling Speaker Series, which focuses on the process of delivering community reparations to Black Asheville residents.

Community Engagement – ODAP has created a list of community leaders, stakeholder and neighborhood leaders, and is conducting informational conversations with them to gather data on accessibility to City services, hear what successful City projects and initiatives look like from their points-of-view and set expectations for engagement with the office in the future.

Summary analysis of the latest National Community Survey data.

Conduct training in Results-Based AccountabilityTM (RBA), an outcomes-focused data-driven decision-making framework that is being introduced to guide departmental decision-making.

Submitted documentation on our data and performance efforts toward achieving What Works Cities certification, a nationally recognized standard of excellence in data practice, nearly doubling our score over our last assessment in mid-2019 and putting certification within easy reach for next year.

 


Frequently Asked Questions

What is ODAP? 

ODAP, also known as the Office of Data & Performance, works collaboratively with the City Manager’s Office, City departments and the community to operate better with data for better, more equitable outcomes for our community.

What tools and methodologies does ODAP use?

ODAP conducts its work by using the Results Based Accountability (RBA) methodology.  This framework starts with “ends”, or desired outcomes, and works backward, towards means. ODAP consults with departments and uses a scope document to methodically examine every aspect of the prospective project, setting expectations, and establishing deadlines.  Click here for more information on the RBA framework.

What are ODAP’s goals for 2021?

  1. Integrated Budget and Performance Process.  To maintain a clear connection between resources used and impact on the community, we will work with Budget, Equity and CAPE to create a year-round integrated resource planning and performance process, building on this year’s budget process. One goal of the new process is to support regular reporting on Council-defined priorities that serves as the foundation for an annual performance report for the City as a whole.
  2. Project Support and Consulting.  A significant part of our work consists of providing data and performance support for initiatives that are aligned with City priorities, including the latest Council goals (reparations, reimagining public safety, and COVID-19 spending accountability) and ongoing priorities like sustainability and advancing racial equity. An immediate goal will be to establish a transparent system for prioritizing and managing incoming projects since they will easily overwhelm our limited staff resources.
  3. External Engagement Program.  Accountability to our community is at the core of what ODAP does and so building a robust engagement program is a critical task this year. Our goal is to collaborate with CAPE to establish regular channels for consultation with the community and with other agencies and organizations.
  4. Equitable Neighborhood Investment and Response Framework.  Inequities arising from complaint-based response on top of historical lack of investment emerged as a theme in the FY22 internal budget sessions. Building on the Parks & Recreation Equity Matrix, we will develop a framework for combining neighborhood-based historical and demographic data with program-specific data to drive equitable investment and response in neighborhoods. This is a key first step toward the long-term goal of neighborhood-level indices of well-being.
  5. Staff Training Program.  Building the City’s capacity to use data to drive performance and decision making requires building that capacity in every department. Based on what we have learned over the last year, we will build a training program that combines a series of short practical lessons in performance management and data literacy with facilitated training built around the needs of particular divisions or functions.
  6. Data Management and Governance.  In 2021 we will create an initial data inventory and procedures for maintaining it. This is a foundational step toward supporting neighborhood-level and citywide indices of community wellbeing. We will also continue to collaborate on the Bedrock data management system with the IT data operations team.

 


Contact Information

Eric Jackson, Manager, Office of Data and Performance

ODAP Team Email


 

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