‘I didn’t come into politics to make the lines on the graphs go in the right direction.’ Prime Minister David Cameron, speech to Conservative Party Conference, October 2014 David Cameron’s comments on graphs at last October’s Conservative Party conference raised a few eyebrows (and a few laughs). It was only the start of an anti-chartist rebellion in British politics that month, with pound-shop populist Russell Brand declaring he didn’t have time for graphs. One politician who makes time for them is Martin O’Malley, two-term Governor of Maryland and former Mayor of Baltimore. As we describe in our new report, Data-Driven Delivery, O’Malley has staked his reputation on making lines on graphs run in the right direction, using targets and data analytics to improve public services through his ‘Stat’ model of governing. This is not an approach for the faint-hearted. But as O’Malley has written in advice to future holders of office: ‘Effective Leaders make themselves vulnerable – own the goals of the government you run and the people you lead, or no one else will’. As mayor of Baltimore, O’Malley not only imported CompStat into Baltimore City Police, but adapted it to running the whole of city government through CitiStat. […]

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