Open Budget, Open Expenditures, And Open Payroll Release Notes: 5/27

As part of our commitment to continually updating and improving the tools we offer to our partners, today we released a new set of features and updates for the Socrata for Finance applications. This period of work included major updates to all three applications. 

Open Budget and Open Expenditures

Pie Charts

We are excited to announce a major update to the core navigational experience of the Open Budget and Open Expenditures applications: Pie charts! 

Now, as users are navigating around the experience, they have the option to switch between our default bar chart view and a pie chart view. This view presents an intuitive breakdown of how each component of a level of hierarchy relates to the other components, and is the most significant change in our core visualization experience since the application was first created.

Additionally, we have moved the table view out of the right-side options and placed it below the pie chart or navigational bars throughout the experience. This change will improve the visibility of Public Finance sites on Google and other search engines and make it easier to scan all of the information contained at a given level of hierarchy.

Color Templates

By popular demand, we have also added the ability to choose different color templates other than the default blue/orange/green paradigm, to meet the branding needs of specific agencies.

The setting is available in the Admin Panel under Colors.

Other Changes:

  • The title of a module is now reflected in the embed for that module.
  • Links in the Open Expenditures Checkbook table are now clickable.
  • Small tweaks and bug fixes.

As a note, these updates do not apply to the pre-April 2015 version of Open Budget, only to the version announced here.

Open Payroll

Projected Annual Salary


One of the consistent requests we have heard from our customers is the ability to include information about the annual salary or projected annual salary of a given employee. This critical additional piece of information helps a viewer understand if a top earner simply has a high base pay, or if they received overtime or some other kind of compensation which raised their compensation above expectations.

Part Time/Full Time Breakdown

Now in the Department or Job Class sections, the Employee Count bar chart breaks down employees by category - Full Time vs. Part Time, for example.

Configurable Tables


We completed a major change to the Open Payroll application to give administrators total control over the presentation of information throughout the application. Each table can now be specifically curated to ensure that only relevant information is displayed to the public.

On the Employee Details page, for example, administrators can now choose to display a much finer breakdown of employee compensation without making the rest of the experience confusing or overwhelming to users.

Admin Panel

  • Created an "admin" permission level, which allows a customer to add or remove users to their administrative panel.
  • Created controls for Payroll users to modify and maintain their tables.
  • Created controls to select color templates and change the look and feel of the application.
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