Towns and small cities in New Jersey are able to operate more efficiently and effectively thanks to the efforts of a local business.
Software company Revelstone, based in Parsippany, works with more than 20 municipalities in the state—and others in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Wisconsin—to analyze the performance of key services and departments such as police, fire and public works to allow their officials to make decisions based on real data, not assumptions. That leads to more effective government, according to Revelstone Chief Operation Officer Mark Nelson.
"These towns are interested in increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the services they deliver to their citizens," Nelson told Patch. "Revelstone Compass lets them look at real data and ask questions like 'How is my town doing?' 'What can we be doing better?' 'What can we learn to make improvements?'"
Morristown is among the towns using Compass, Revelstone's web-based performance analytics and benchmarking software platform; others include Parsippany, Summit and Montclair. Municipalities use information found via Compass—such as numbers of police or fire calls, percentages of public employee overtime, road maintenance costs, etc.—to attack waste, find efficiencies and devise ways to make their services more effective. The company says its software helps local governments understand how they are performing, where they could be doing better and what best practices they can learn from similar towns.
“This ability to gauge a township against peers in another community of comparable size is a valuable tool,” said Dave Fried, mayor of Robbinsville Township. “We are convinced the Revelstone strategy of organizing, storing and sharing data with so many communities will be extremely valuable to mayors across the country.”
Franklin Lakes Town Administrator Gregory Hart agreed.
“Compass is a cost-effective and easy-to-use solution that helps us measure our performance data in an objective and meaningful manner," he said. "From this data, we are developing efficiencies which bring us closer to our performance goals."
Revelstone is one of seven elite civic startups that participated in Code for America's inaugural Accelerator Program, and the 15-year-old firm is earning widespread attention from a host of media outlets, including Fast Company and Mashable.