FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE :
Thursday, Mar 10, 2016
City of Little Rock Public Relations
Office (501) 371-4421
Media ReleasesContact(s): Jennifer Godwin | (o) 501 371 4421 | (c) 501 804 4822
Little Rock Embarks on Major Open Data Initiative
Selection as What Works Cities Partner, New Data Portals Mark Initial Rollout
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (March 10 2016) –Little Rock officials announced today that the City is one of only 27 around the U.S. participating in the What Work Cities initiative through Bloomberg Philanthropies, part of an effort to embrace open data, create a framework for its usage, and make it readily available to citizens.
Coinciding with the announcement, Little Rock unveiled two new data portals that include several data sets covering such topics as budget information, public safety statistics, and 311 requests.
“As the first major municipality in Arkansas to undertake an open data initiative of this magnitude, we are eager to lay this groundwork to make our City better,” said City Manager Bruce T. Moore. “It comes down to how we engage with our citizens, and how we are providing data in a transparent and timely manner.”
According to Moore, the open data initiative will not only bring external data to the public but be utilized internally to improve efficiencies in the City’s departments.
Little Rock was selected in late 2015 to participate in What Works Cities, a $42 million initiative to support municipalities as they work to enhance their use of data to engage citizens, improve services, and incorporate performance metrics into departments. Just 100 cities will be admitted into the program through 2017.
As part of the initiative, Little Rock has benefitted from the expertise provided by Results for America, the Center for Government Excellence at Johns Hopkins University, the Government Performance Lab at the Harvard Kennedy School, and The Sunlight Foundation.
Working with those experts, City employees are taking inventory of data and working toward an open data policy and governance framework.
“This open data initiative is a process. Once our time with our What Works Cities partners concludes, we will continue with our own governance committee, which will provide input and guidance on identifying additional datasets to be published,” said Melissa Bridges, network security manager and project lead.
The data sets are live on the new main data portal at https://data.littlerockar.gov/.
The 311 request data can be found at http://311data.littlerockar.gov/.
The City encourages citizens to visit the new portal and offer feedback. Workshops and portal walkthroughs for the public are being planned.