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New budget-friendly offering allows communities to benchmark, analyze and report performance

Developed by ICMA (International City/County Management Association) and analytics provider SAS, ICMA Insights helps local governments synthesize data they collect across the services they provide – such as police, fire, trash collection and building permits – to track performance metrics and improve service delivery. The performance management and analytics solution employs 950 measures across seven categories.

“Our goal is to grow in the ICMA Insights database to the point at which participants can match their performance against hundreds of other communities. They can then base evaluations not only on their own historical performance, but also that of a universe of similar communities,” said ICMA Executive Director Bob O’Neill.

ICMA first addressed performance improvement in local government in 1932 and has been advancing the art of performance management since.

“Local governments generate mountains of data, but have historically struggled to use it effectively to inform decisions,” said Paula Henderson, Vice President of the SAS State and Local Government Practice. “Today, big data, cloud-based analytics and low-cost computer technology are changing how communities implement performance management systems.”

According to Jeff Esser, Executive Director of the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA), “The comparative performance analytics database on the scale of what ICMA envisions would be a major asset – not just to a local government looking to benchmark its performance against a similar community but also to the cause of improving service delivery to citizens.”

ICMA Insights service tiers

The five tier levels of service available through the ICMA Insights platform are organized around five processes local governments engage in when using data to improve service delivery performance: measurement, comparison, exploration, analysis and transformation. Designed to meet the needs of a variety of community and budget sizes, they range from basic summary statistics and integrated reporting to more advanced customizable graphs, scorecards, dashboards and performance forecasting. Multiple local user licenses, based on population, are also available.

Participant support

ICMA Insights is supported by training, technical assistance, an educational curriculum, a private online network for peer-to-peer discussion and professional development opportunities to help local governments create effective, efficient and data-driven organizations.

Demonstrations available

Online demonstrations of ICMA Insights are available by registering here or visiting

About ICMA

ICMA, the International City/County Management Association, advances professional local government management worldwide. The organization’s mission is to create excellence in local governance by developing and fostering professional management to build sustainable communities that improve people’s lives. ICMA provides member support; publications; data and information; peer and results-oriented assistance; and training and professional development to 9,500 appointed city, town and county leaders, and other individuals and organizations throughout the world. The management decisions made by ICMA’s members affect millions of individuals living in thousands of communities throughout the world, from small villages and towns to large metropolitan areas. 

About SAS

SAS is the leader in business analytics software and services, and the largest independent vendor in the business intelligence market. Through innovative solutions, SAS helps customers at more than 75,000 sites improve performance and deliver value by making better decisions faster. Since 1976 SAS has been giving customers around the world THE POWER TO KNOW®.

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