Austin Launches New Performance Site

June 18, 2020 by Melissa Crowe

Austin Launches New Performance Site

With the annual budget season upon us, the city of Austin unveiled a new performance dashboard that gives detailed insights into how each program, initiative, and policy contribute.

While Austin’s Strategic Direction 2023, a five-year plan known around city hall as “SD23,” allows the staff to be more focused, the new dashboard equips staff and the public to be more informed.

The plan launched in 2018, and the city recently completed an overhaul of the performance dashboard, this time using Tyler’s Socrata solution.

Austin Data and Strategy Manager Nicole Castañon said the city was looking for an intuitive dashboard with a great user-experience. The city needed to include the underlying source data and details on how measures were calculated.

“My goal was to put this in a format that the audience easily knows what they’re looking at,” Castañon said. “We want to present information in a way that someone can connect with the data and do something with it. That’s how people make change.”

SD23 reframes the city’s operations into six big-picture categories, or outcomes: safety, mobility, economic opportunity and affordability, health and environment, culture and lifelong learning, and government that works for all. Each category includes a series of performance indicators and the ability to drill into context, objectives, and the underlying source data.

Austin Chief Performance Officer Kimberly Olivares said one benefit of this approach to performance management is empowering both the public and Austin’s 15,000 city employees.

“We use this technology to work toward our vision and drive progress toward these strategic priorities,” Olivares said.

The city of Austin is constantly confronted with challenging and sometimes controversial policy issues. Over the past year, homelessness has dominated conversations with council, staff, and the community as sweeping changes were made to the city’s laws and policies affecting the homeless population.

The dashboard provides important measures and datasets related to homelessness that can help inform policy and help everyone see how our actions are impacting the community.


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Olivares said the new performance site provides the results and insights the mayor, council, and leadership need to prioritize spending and manage needs across the city.

“We’re focusing on achievements and outcomes and making sure that progress stays in line with our citywide goals,” Olivares said. “This is where data, policy, and public accountability truly converge.”

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