Boston to be the first true 21st-century American city. And he wanted it to be deeply data driven. “The City of Boston is a $2.8 billion organization,” Koh said. “If it were in the private sector it would be deeply data driven and a Fortune 1000 company.” He advocates for cities using data the way large corporations do. Of course, data collection is just half the story; the other, Koh said, is learning how to use it effectively, a la Moneyball, the title of a book and movie that tells how Oakland Athletics’ manager Billy Beane turned the team around by crunching player data. (Koh isn’t the first person to seek governing wisdom from baseball.) Koh says that in the spirit of baseball, the Walsh administration is creating a tool called City Score that uses the data collected to measure a city’s success. He’s working with performance analysts to create an algorithm to determine and visualize the “singular statistic” — or score.
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