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Macon-Bibb County redefines 'Smart City' with primary focus on open data – not tech

The county's award winning open data project places emphasis on transparency, citizen services, and staff training to embrace technology and make smarter, data-driven decisions at no additional cost.

Data Governance / Data ManagementOpen DataCitizen ServicesCitizen EngagementTransparencySmart City
Newsworthy
Macon-Bibb IT Department earns three state awards | WGXA
MACON, Ga. --Georgia GMIS honored Macon-Bibb County Information Technology (MBIT) projects and employees with three state awards in early May. The department earned the following awards: Best Practices Award-MaconInsights Data Academy Project. Outstanding Professional Award-Jeff Griffin. Spirit of GMIS Award-Joe Nabhan.
WGXA
Highlights
  • This open data project started in 2018 with a comprehensive review of the applications already in use and the various data sources throughout the county.
  • The MaconInsights hub is allowing several departments to reduce the hours spent on data requests.
  • MaconInsights Data Academy was formed to empower departments to leverage existing data to increase efficiency and promote collaboration across departments.
  • The County is looking inward to reshape the culture around transparency and citizen services.
Project Summary
Macon-Bibb County’s Information Technology department - specifically the GIS Division - has done something quite remarkable with their data at no additional cost to the county. This hub (www.maconinsights.com), is based off leading GIS and performance analytics platforms including the Los Angeles Geo Hub, Cincinnati’s CincyInsights and inspired by Bloomberg’s What Works Cities initiative.
The MaconInsights project has earned them multiple awards and serves as inspiration for other local governments looking to innovate with more strategic use of data and better tools for engaging residents.
The open data project started in 2018 with a comprehensive review of the applications already in use and the various data sources throughout the county. This inventory served as the foundation of the MaconInsights Project, which delivers a robust open data hub with easy search tools for Macon-Bibb County staff and residents.
MaconInsights has transformed the county’s ability to digest and share data, allowing participating departments to reduce the hours spent on data requests. Citizens are also able to engage through self-service applications. Even better, these "MaconInsights" are now being pieced together to drive smarter, more informed decisions.

The Data Academy is born

Not only has Macon-Bibb County set the bar for transparent and accessible government, the county is taking important steps to train their staff on emerging technologies. This training plan prompted GIS Manager Jeff Griffin and team to create the MaconInsights Data Academy, which earned the 2019 Best Practices Award for its focus on team-based, citizen-centric approach to collaboration and problem solving in local government. The Academy trains and empowers departments to leverage existing data to increase efficiency and promote collaboration across departments.

A 'Smart City' is a Data Driven Community

What Macon-Bibb County set out to accomplish with this project is far greater than an open data portal. The county aims to involve various departments, partners, and citizens to promote data-driven decisions.
With the concerted effort placed on ongoing training to better equip staff to work with newly accessible data sets and to promote adoption of leading technologies, the County is looking inward to reshape the culture around transparency and citizen services. The MaconInsights team clarifies what it means to be a 'Smart City' --

We at Govlaunch agree...

A true 'Smart City' is more than leading technology - it is a culture built on collaboration across departments, agencies, and residents - and smarter use of data available to all. 💡
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