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Open Finance

Open Finance is a suite of applications that visualize any municipal or state budget in order to better enable local citizens, government leaders, finance professionals, or anyone else to view and understand the government budget. In the Open Finance suite are three applications:

Open Budget is an easy-to-use app that publishes the operating revenues, operating expenses, and the details of your capital budget onto a branded website. You can use it to quickly answers key financial questions about operating and capital budget revenue streams and allocations. You can keep the experience up-to-date by showing your budget versus actuals throughout the year and replacing static reports. Visitors on their desktops, tablets, and smartphones learn about government priorities and impacts on their lives and neighborhoods.
Open Expenditures allows the public and internal stakeholders to easily understand and explore checkbook-level detail of spending. You can keep the experience up-to-date by automatically publishing new data to Socrata platform. Visitors will be able to learn about spending and contracting in their department and find specific, detailed answers to a wide variety of questions.
Open Payroll publishes payroll information onto a branded website that answers common questions about government spending on personnel. Visitors receive instant answers to common questions, including total size of the payroll, highest-paid employees, highest-paid departments, median pay, and more.

Data visualization techniques include bar graphs, pie charts, heat maps, and histograms that can show both overall financial data and specific versions for departments or sectors. More information is revealed by scrolling over various points in the graphs, charts, or maps. Datasets can also be downloaded in a number of formats for further analysis, discussed on the site’s threaded comment feature, accessed via SODA and OData, embedded on other sites, and printed.

Using the Open Finance suite of applications, governments are able to use its budget visualization tools to create financial reports, internal reports and updates, and custom forms for FOIA requests and policy analysis.

Open Finance is used in over 10 municipal and state governments in the United States. Their websites are linked at the bottom of the tool page.

Open Finance is developed by Socrata, based in Seattle, Washington.

Additional information

Slice & Dice

References

Additional information and materials about Open Finance: