Business

Office dashboards give Walsh news he can use

Mayor Walsh can keep tabs on city life by consulting two data dashboards in his office that let him see statistics on services such as school bus arrival times and hot line calls.
Mayor Walsh can keep tabs on city life by consulting two data dashboards in his office that let him see statistics on services such as school bus arrival times and hot line calls. Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff

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There was a time — the last 20 years, actually — when the two large computer monitors in the mayor’s office would have been as welcome as a Walmart executive pitching a store in Boston. Longtime occupant Thomas M. Menino famously shunned e-mail and didn’t even allow a PC to clutter his desk.

Now it’s more like Mayor’s Office version 2.0, as evidenced by the two 46-inch screens, called dashboards, that sit atop metal stands. They display data about all things Boston — from the percentage of school buses running on time to how many potholes were filled in the past week to the number of calls flooding the city’s 24-hour hot line (556 on a recent day, with an average answer time of 8 seconds).

The idea is to give new Mayor Martin J. Walsh a snapshot of how things are running at any given moment, and to show him how well government employees are doing their jobs.

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