Baltimore City Recognized as Up-and-Coming Leader in Data-Driven Management

BALTIMORE, MD.  — Baltimore City is proud to share it has earned the 2020 What Works Cities Honor Roll distinction as a leading city that uses data to inform policy and educate the public. The recognition places Baltimore among the top thirty of nearly 200 cities evaluated through this framework since 2015.

What Works Cities is a national initiative launched by Bloomberg Philanthropies that evaluates how effectively cities are managed by measuring the extent to which city leaders incorporate data and evidence in their decision-making against national best practices. The evaluation uses 45 indicators across eight practice areas ranging from data governance to results-driven procurement practices to grade cities on their management practices.

“I am extremely excited that Baltimore is getting the recognition it deserves as a city that runs on data,” said Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young. “My administration holds itself accountable using data, both through CitiStat meetings, internally, and to the public through dashboards and open data.”

Achievements by the Office of Performance & Innovation—which contains CitiStat and the Innovation Team as dual performance management and problem-solving and delivery teams—propelled the city to this recognition. Other agencies including the IT department, the budget office, and the Bureau of Procurement contributed to the Honor Roll distinction.

Baltimore received high marks for its CleanStat initiative, a program across CitiStat, the Department of Public Works, and the Department of Housing and Community Development that oversaw reductions in overdue cleaning work orders from roughly 16,000 to a few hundred before COVID-19 disrupted operations. Residents could track progress on this work using a public dashboard.

“We were already expanding and improving our use of data prior to COVID-19 and we’ve built on this to support the city’s response to the pandemic,” said Dan Hymowitz, Director of the Office of Performance & Innovation. "It’s exciting to see this recognized by What Works Cities.”

This recognition came shortly after the Baltimore City Health Department and the Office of Performance & Innovation launched an extensive public COVID-19 dashboard and began holding COVID-Stat meetings to manage the city’s interagency response to the pandemic. The city is preparing a similar dashboarding tool to inform conversations around public safety.

“Baltimore City has been continually expanding its use of data and analytics in all areas, such as 311, CitiStat, and outcome based budgeting,” said Mike Wisniewski, Chief Data Officer for the city. “We are early in a major transformation around our data practices and organizational capacity.”

What Work Cities is part of a broader network of nonprofit organizations funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies that provide technical assistance and advisory services to cities. Through this designation, Baltimore will receive support from these groups to expand the city’s data-driven management practices.

About What Works Cities:

What Work Cities, launched by Bloomberg Philanthropies in April 2015, is a national initiative that helps cities use data and evidence more effectively to tackle their most pressing challenges and improve residents’ lives. It is one of the largest-ever philanthropic efforts to enhance cities’ use of data and evidence. Through the initiative’s expert partners, cities around the country are receiving technical assistance, guidance and resources to succeed in making more informed decisions, tackling local challenges, and delivering more effective services and programs for their residents. Cities in the What Works Cities network also gain access to a collaborative network of peers in cities across the country. For more information, visit

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