Data science empowering the public: Data-driven dashboards for transparent and accountable decision-making in smart cities

Ricardo Matheus, Marijn Janssen, Devender Maheshwari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
27 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Dashboards visualize a consolidated set data for a certain purpose which enables users to see what is happening and to initiate actions. Dashboards can be used by governments to support their decision-making and policy processes or to communicate and interact with the public. The objective of this paper is to understand and to support the design of dashboards for creating transparency and accountability. Two smart city cases are investigated showing that dashboards can improve transparency and accountability, however, realizing these benefits was cumbersome and encountered various risks and challenges. Challenges include insufficient data quality, lack of understanding of data, poor analysis, wrong interpretation, confusion about the outcomes, and imposing a pre-defined view. These challenges can easily result in misconceptions, wrong decision-making, creating a blurred picture resulting in less transparency and accountability, and ultimately in even less trust in the government. Principles guiding the design of dashboards are presented. Dashboards need to be complemented by mechanisms supporting citizens' engagement, data interpretation, governance and institutional arrangements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalGovernment Information Quarterly: an international journal of information technology management, policies, and practices
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Feb 2018

Keywords

  • Accountability
  • Big data
  • Dashboards
  • Data science
  • Decision-making
  • Design principles
  • E-government
  • Open data
  • Open government
  • Policy-making
  • Smart City
  • Transparency
  • Trust

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