Thursday, June 15, 2006

Bang for the Buck

How efficient is your local government? The Kansas City Star tries to answer that question with one of the most helpful uses of data crunching that I've seen. "Our Tax Dollars at Work: Who's Doing the Best Job?" by Michael Mansur and Rick Montgomery analyzes which towns in the Kansas City metro area offer the most in services in proportion to the tax money they receive. Mansur and Montgomery use the data to show which towns are most efficient at fighting crime, putting out fires, fixing streets, picking up garbage and providing other municipal services. In addition to giving us an interesting and fun way to use data, the series is crisply and clearly written. Thanks to the folks at Investigative Reporters and Editors for recommending this story.


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