Have you ever wanted to know how long it takes for the Fire Department to respond?  Or how often City code violations are cited to court?  What about how long it takes to get a permit issued with the Land Development Office?  

If so, you’re not alone. The City of Chattanooga wants those answers as well, and has a tool to share them with the world. 

This week, the City’s Office of Performance Management and Open Data (OPMOD) is excited to announce a new and improved Open Data and Performance site: ChattaData.org. Visitors to this site can access public datasets, visualizations, and performance dashboards.  People can even download the data themselves to generate insights for their community.  

As astronomer Clifford Stoll memorably put it, Data is not information, information is not knowledge, knowledge is not understanding, understanding is not wisdom.” In other words, all the tables, graphs, and charts in the world don’t mean much if local leaders are not using them to generate real results for families in our city.

That’s why OPMOD’s mission focuses on using data to craft real solutions that improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the City’s delivery of services. Transparency in performance measurement plays a major role in the successful delivery of services.  The new ChattaData site plays a critical role by generating new insights almost every day through near real-time data connections to multiple City systems. The constant updates of these datasets allow the City to be more proactive in programming efforts rather than reactive.  

An example of one of data visualizations that can be generated through ChattaData.org.

Information is power, after all. This new and improved ChattaData.org gives power to Chattanoogans and their communities by delivering detailed information about how city government’s work actually impacts them. In designing this platform, visuals were prioritized to make sure that information was presented in the most compelling and intuitive way possible. 

When administrators and other city staff know what they’re seeing, they’ll have a better sense of how to use it.

For instance, the Chattanooga Fire Department has already been using their incident data about calls to assist senior citizens and other individuals with serious disabilities. By using the new platform to look at the data, CFD leadership was able to convince the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga to provide some interns who could help frequent callers get better services — while freeing up the Fire Department to focus on more urgent calls. 

Perhaps most importantly, the relaunch of Chattadata is the beginning, not the end, of how citizens and city leaders can work together to better understand our community, improve our systems, and measure those improvements in a forthright and transparent way. 

An example of one of public performance dashboards available via ChattaData.org.

Is there any dataset you’d be interested in seeing? Is there a specific visualization of the data you’d like to see?  Let the Office of Performance Management and Open Data know at opendata@chattanooga.gov and help us spread the word by sharing ChattaData.org with your friends and networks today.