2017 The City of Topeka has continued to increase the number of published datasets on all of the open data sites. The Data Governance Committee has continued to work through the process of providing accurate, timely and relevant information to the public. In 2017, the Data Governance Committee determined a realistic path for publishing information and focusing on public information needs. The committee has worked to acknowledge neighboring jurisdictions and the added value that comes from partnering with supporting agencies for sharing data.
2016 The City of Topeka was selected as a What Works Cities partner and began to work through a strategic transparency initiative to increase citizen engagement, participation and trust in the local government. To learn more about these accomplishments, please access the 2016 City of Topeka Open Government Report.


July 2017
The city received feedback from the 2017 Open Government Initiative survey and gathered the feedback to determine what citizens want to see - Click here for additional survey information

August 2017
September 2017

November 2017
Topeka received the Innovation Award from  (KS City/County Managers) for leadership on tech advances to increase govt transparency. 


In 2017, the city provided information to the public on an immense level.
The city's Open Data Platforms, which include the budget, expenditure, performance, project and Data Catalog portals, provided over 227 new datasets to the public in 2017. These datasets contain over 15,782,528 rows of information and statistics, and also includes the release of 123 stories that elaborate on city initiatives, finances and programs, and include approximately 3,138 embedded pieces of data and connected webpage information.
All of these datasets and open portals contain hundreds of pieces of detailed information that tell about what the city is doing to successfully meet the needs of residents.  
In 2017, the city published its fifth year of adopted budget information on the Open Budget Portal and third year of expenditures on the Checkbook Portal, totaling more than 1.23 million transaction records.
The city's Capital Project Dashboard portal includes active capital improvement projects on citywide infrastructure, streets and traffic, equipment and facilities, quality of life, neighborhoods, public safety and utilities. This portal is updated on a weekly basis to provide the public with accurate, timely and relevant information on local city construction.
In 2017, the Capital Project Dashboard portal continued to provide an astonishing amount of detail on 187 active projects. The project details include a major description of the project, the budgeted amount and actual dollars spent, the category of the project and the type of asset the project is impacting, the health status of the project, the city department that is responsible for the project, the projected completion date and the city council district in regards to the geographical location.
The Performance Portal increased citywide reporting to include a total of 85 performance measures in 2017. The 85 measures include; nine relating to the city's commitment to customer service, seven relating to the city's goals to improve fiscal sustainability, 10 measures that aim to improve performance, cost-effectiveness and organizational excellence, 34 measures that relate to the city's commitment to public safety and 25 measures that support the city's investment in infrastructure.
There are measures on the Performance Portal that track analytics for all of the city's open data sites. Check out the embedded graph below and visit the measure on Government Transparency to learn more about the tracking methods that are used.
Open Data Portal
Open Budget Portal


Quantifying the value and return on investment for open data programs is very complex. The open data community has acknowledged the difficulty of quantifying the measurable impact of open data. Few organizations have developed performance metrics that enhance the reallocation of resources and investments through the budget process. The Data Governance Committee strives to develop a methodology and system for quantifying the value of data and the level of assistance that open data can provide for making certain decisions. 
Goals for open data Value Realization
  • Track data usage 
  • Define matrix to measure economic and social impact of open data 
  • Promote and enhance sustainability initiatives for infrastructure and financial sustainability


The city focused to provide up-to-date information throughout the year on Capital Improvement Projects (CIP). The active CIP information can be viewed on the city’s project portal http://projects.topeka.org/. The CIP annually identifies capital projects that include citywide infrastructure, equipment, street and traffic maintenance, quality of life, neighborhoods, utilities and public safety. In 2017, it was the city’s priority to setup a direct link from the project portal to the city’s project portfolio management application that is used by project engineers. Project financial information is also updated daily in the city’s Enterprise Resource Planning system (ERP system). With the ability to merge these systems, the city is able to update the project portal on a daily basis to provide the actual dollars spent on a project and every detail down to the project specifications. Currently the city provides only details that relate to active capital projects.


2018 The Data Governance Committee will focus on recognizing and building an increase in value by utilizing data to drive decisions. The city continues to explore other ways and means of sharing this information and looks for ways to increase levels of utilization of the city’s open data sites. In 2018, the City of Topeka will develop and work through usability studies and practices to determine needed changes for the open data sites. Throughout 2018, the City of Topeka will work through these determined changes, which will aim to increase citizen engagement, and an overall understanding of the city’s open data sites and services.
Open Government Roadmap, areas of focus.


To leverage the momentum of the existing open data program and to encourage the adoption of open data, it is necessary to identify the value data provides and the value it provides to the community. In 2018, the Data Governance Committee will develop processes for engaging citizens for feedback and ease of usability.  The committee will leverage partners within city staff to grow the knowledge of data driven decisions throughout the organization.  Citizens truly influence the design, development and delivery of efficient public programs, services and policies and in 2018 the city will emphasis on what the citizens want.
Goals for open data Knowledge Management
  • Promote internal collaboration
  • Meet on a monthly basis for an interactive open data and performance program to increase the adoption of data-driven decision making


Citizen feedback plays a key role in what information should be published and this provides an added value to the energy that was put forth for obtaining and releasing the data in an easy to understand format. The goal of the Data Governance Committee includes identifying key stakeholders, students, civic technology groups, businesses and community leaders and then engaging them to get perspectives regarding content, accessibility and quality of open data.
Goals for open data Citizen Engagement
  • Complete a usability study and develop ways to address negative feedback and citizen responses
  • Define engagement channels and track participation
  • Track citizen satisfaction of open data
  • Use proactive information and education to anticipate and address customer needs


The Data Governance Committee will continue to evolve its approach for data collection and aggregation, and build analytical processes through regular technical upgrades and process improvements. The city will proactively identify datasets beneficial to citizens, verify the quality of the data and refresh the content of the datasets as updates are made available. The city will continue to evaluate the prioritization of datasets, and the mechanisms that are utilized for delivering information. 
Goals for managing open data Technical Components
  • Continually review data sources to define, identify and prioritize datasets for publication and update processes to standardize the data
  • Continue to automate data updates and create direct links to sources of technology applications
  • Identify and implement technology solutions to address inefficiencies and develop processes for streamlining data reporting
For questions or information regarding the information that has been provided on this report, please contact Leigha Boling at (785) 368-0974 or Sherry Schoonover at (785) 368-2578
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