Data Culture

Data is an asset, but our city employees are a vital asset to make sense of it. With all the current and new sources of detailed data we can use to make decisions, we need the right culture and training to use it responsibly, wisely, and make the most of it. We want to prepare our employees and build the proper data culture to collectively ready us for the future.
We will be successful when…
Data is valued and used at all levels of Louisville Metro Government. Dedicated staff build data capacity, create policies and processes, and foster collaboration. Staff have access to quality data, tools, and learning opportunities to create meaningful analysis impacting decision-making and advancing strategic priorities to further the public good.


  • Train employees on data analysis, tools, ethics, privacy, security, sharing
    • % of Data Governance members completing our Data Academy courses
    • % of Data Governance members who complete a Metro Badges tract
  • Share data both internally and externally
    • % of datasets cataloged in our Data Inventory
    • % of relevant datasets processed and released as open data
  • Achieve the highest levels of data certification available
    • Reach platinum status with What Works Cities
  • Update our data policies to account for best practices
    • % of Data Governance members participating in Working Groups around data standards, open data policy, and other data policy work.


Data Governance

The cross-departmental Data Governance team includes 60+ Metro employees that work with data and represent every city department and has built a data-driven culture across the city, breaking down silos and fostering collaboration. The team receives trainings, creates policy, shares data, and manages open data. Members are recommended as a result of the mayor’s Open Data Executive Order (Section 3) and the Open Data Policy (3.1.2).

Data Training

Through our Data Academy and related training, we provide curriculum, training, and presentations for members on topics around the data lifecycle, including quality, collection, storage, metadata, visualization, business intelligence, ethics, and standards. We also have started a Data Academy on beginner and advanced usage of tools like Power BI, Excel, Carto, GIS, and other open source data visualization tools.

Data Inventory

Louisville has created and has a maintenance plan for a data inventory for all data assets across Metro including metadata, classification, sensitivity, and ownership. It's a like a library card catalog for our city's data. It's a digital list of data each department has, including name, source system, who knows the most about it, privacy classification, and more. ​A public view of dataset is published here on our to open data website, aligns with WWC Certification requirements, and serves as the basis for our data warehouse and open data roadmap. It's a continual work in progress across all departments.

Open Data

We publish over 200 datasets including budget items, crime reports, restaurant health ratings, employee salaries, building permits, car collisions, fire runs, and 311 service calls. This information is used by companies like Waze, Yelp, the American Printing House for the Blind, Google Maps, Crime Reports, and Apple to improve your experiences within their apps and services that you use daily. It’s also used by journalists, researchers, non-profits, and residents to help you understand what is happening across all levels of your city and neighborhood.

Things that inform our work

Group of Chief Data Officers and Data Analytics leaders in city governments run by the Harvard Ash Center. Useful for collective knowledge, policy development, resource sharing, research, building open source tools, and consensus on best practices.
The Sunlight Foundation is a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that uses civic technologies, open data, policy analysis and journalism to make our government and politics more accountable and transparent to all.
What Works Cities Certification is the national standard of excellence for well-managed, data-driven local government. Louisville is one of 4 cities to achieve Gold Certification. Certification helps cities benchmark their progress and develop a roadmap for using data and evidence to deliver results for residents. By recognizing local governments excelling in this work, the program provides models others can learn from.