Leading confidently with data: 3 steps for every city leader
City halls have come a long way over the past decade when it comes to using data to fight crime, protect public health, house the homeless, and so much more. As they get better at this work, one thing has become clear: The cities seeing the biggest gains are the ones where mayors are leading the charge.
There’s a good reason for that. Nobody else has the mayor’s bird’s eye view across city agencies and the ability as a leader to insist on cross-cutting collaboration. And mayors have a unique ability to set the tone. When the mayor regularly asks agency heads for data on how services are performing, for example, and digs for answers about why strategies are or aren’t working, it tends to infuse organizational culture pretty quickly.
That’s why we’re doubling down on our work with mayors in the new Bloomberg Philanthropies City Data Alliance. The program’s aim is to identify 100 cities across North, Central, and South America that are the most sophisticated, ambitious, and advanced at harnessing data, and enable their top leaders to chart the next frontier of public-sector data practice. As the first cohort of 22 mayors gets started, the first topic in our work together is exploring how they and their top officials can lead confidently with data.