Revelstone: Why We’re Coding for America

Revelstone is one of the seven civic startups in the inaugural class of the CfA Accelerator.

I’ve spent my entire career understanding data. Looking deep into the numbers to figure out what decision would be best. This started when I was consulting with Arthur Andersen and continued throughout the years working with private sector companies, taking it from data analysis to performance analytics.

I’ve seen the benefits the private sector gets from relying on data-driven decision making. Now it’s time for the public sector – specifically, cities and towns to move to performance analytics.

Taking a data-driven and performance culture into government requires a change in thinking. It requires municipal leaders to focus on operating like a business and not like “business as usual.” And it will take an army of believers to get this new thinking about how to better manage our cities and towns to reach critical mass.

That’s why Revelstone is coding for America.

Talking about data and performance analytics can sound esoteric. But the reality of what it means for our citizens is significant. Code for America Accelerator Mentor, SeeClickFix, is well known for its app that allows citizens to report issues such as potholes. Citizens can then see how quickly the town fixes the pothole. We take things a step further.

If that town is using our product, Compass, they can analyze the costs of fixing that pothole. They can also look at what similar towns – not necessarily neighboring towns – spend to fix their potholes. Furthermore, they can find out how these other towns operate and learn from them. And that insight can help that town to determine how to best meet their citizens’ requests to fix potholes and do so efficiently and effectively.

More and more towns and cities are moving in this direction. And it’s not just about potholes. They are analyzing their data on crime, emergency response times, and snow removal, just to name a few. One city–Woodbridge, N.J.–is analyzing how adding mini-golf to its recreational facilities can help drive revenue to the city, while delivering a fun activity for their citizens.

Watch Revelstone CEO Ken Wolf discuss why Revelstone is coding for America.

Together with Code for America and our fellow civic startups in the Code for America Accelerator, we are on a mission to help governments work better for everyone with the power of the web. Data-driven decisions and performance analytics play a significant and growing role in better government.

Questions? Comments? Hit us up @codeforamerica.

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