The City of Seattle Launches A Data Strategy to Elevate City Decision-Making Practices

Mayor Bruce Harrell of Seattle, WA recently unveiled the city’s ‘One Seattle Data Strategy,’ that is designed to optimize the City’s use of data for decision making, enhance collaboration, protect privacy, and standardize best practices.

“Data has the potential to transform everything we do as a City, from how we deploy public safety resources to how we build critical infrastructure,” said Mayor Harrell. “Our One Seattle Data Strategy will help turn that potential into progress as we strive to serve our community effectively, efficiently, and equitably. This strategy doubles down on the areas Seattle is already doing well, identifies new opportunities for collaboration, and commits us to a plan for continuous improvement. Thanks to the hard work of many City employees, we are on track to be one of the most well-managed, data-driven local governments in the nation.”

One Seattle Data Strategy is a three-year plan that addresses how the city collects, stores, uses, and shares data internally and externally. It identifies four key pillars that it seeks to address:

1. data quality and governance: strengthening data management and quality standards by establishing unified standards and processes for data management across all city agencies;  

2. data literacy and culture: empowering City staff to lead and innovate with data by establishing data leadership at all levels of the organization, upskilling staff, and creating opportunities for city employees to use data to better inform decision making;   

3. data use and equity: leveraging resources and knowledge for increased collaboration, equity analysis, and consumption of data that will lead to data-informed outcomes, improved transparency, governance, and citizen engagement; and

4. data and community engagement: in addition to advancing their open data practices, the city will launch work to drive better data transparency, communication, and connection with community members.

The Data Strategy project arose out of Seattle’s participation in the Bloomberg Philanthropies City Data Alliance. Seattle was selected to participate in the City Data Alliance due to its strong track record of using data to inform decisions and improve services. 

“Data is one of the most critical assets public sector leaders have – and the Bloomberg Philanthropies City Data Alliance is aimed at helping cities maximize that asset for public good,” said James Anderson, leader of the Government Innovation program at Bloomberg Philanthropies. “We applaud Seattle for their work to advance and codify a citywide data strategy – engaging community members through the process – which will enhance their ability to effectively problem solve across city hall and sectors, and target interventions that deliver on resident needs.”