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Bringing Context to Quality of Life Ratings

Yesterday afternoon, at the #ICMA’s annual conference in Columbus Ohio, an announcement was made about an exciting collaboration to advance the use of data in local governments through a new partnership and data network called Government Performance Action and Learning. (GPAL).

Its principal founders are #Polco, an on-line community and employee survey company and the University of Wisconsin – Madison’s think-tank, COWS. Additional partners joining GPAL will include: the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), performance management software company Envisio, the Arizona State U, and the Hoover Institute at Stanford University.

GPAL’s goal is to bring together comprehensive community information, providing simple to use indices and insights that will lead to improved performance. It is intended to allow leaders to see connections between disparate community data that, before now, only lived in siloed sources. For example, using the new GPAL tools, decision-makers could explore resident perceptions about traffic and how they relate to mobility and law enforcement metrics or the ways in which parks and recreation opportunities affect community health outcomes.

“The data collected by our partners amplifies our historic data sets by giving context to quality-of-life ratings,” said Polco Senior Vice President of Innovation Michelle Kobayashi. “This new information gives leaders a more granular look at livability issues so they can make better, more informed decisions.”


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