Public Finance Release Notes for 8/1/2016 - Introducing Related Content & Common Questions

Open Budget and Open Expenditures

Related Content (aka, Performance Budgeting)

Today, we released a major update to the Open Budget and Open Expenditures application, introducing the Related Content section which administrators can configure either on the homepage or at any level of hierarchy within the application.

This exciting new capability answers one of the most common requests we hear from our partners: the ability to show not only how dollars are allocated in a budget, but which programs or outcomes will be affected by those dollars. In the example above, an agency can show not only their total spending on public safety, but their different performance metrics that are associated with that allocation. Similarly, administrators can associate goals, performance metrics, or other details with a vendor or contract in the Open Expenditures application to expose additional insight about the meaning and value of an expenditure.

This section will automatically integrate with any Perspectives or Open Performance goals, allowing Socrata partners to tightly partner their financial transparency and performance management initiatives and demonstrate the impact of budgetary investments to the public.

Administrators will see a new section called “Related Content” in their administrative panels, which controls this configuration.

Check out the Knowledge Base for more details on how Related Content works.


Common Questions

Another significant update that we deployed today is called Common Questions. The Common Questions panel allows administrators to point users towards their most important priorities, or to highlight some common questions (How much is the city spending on public safety? How much does the county collect in property taxes?) and point citizens towards answers.

In combination with the Related Content section announced above, this update allows administrators to associate important content - budget books, other reports, performance goals, stories - with the top priority areas in the budget, then point users directly from the homepage towards that key information.

Similar to related content, administrators can define their Common Questions in the administrative panel, in the Branding > Home Page section.

See the following article for more details on configuring Common Questions.


Small Updates & Bug Fixes

  • Open Expenditures - Downloaded data out of the Checkbook view now reflects the order of columns in the underlying dataset.
  • Fixed issue where homepage totals did not appropriately reflect overridden amounts.


Check out our other Product News, and give us a shout at with questions or ideas.


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