OpenGov: On Track To Lead Market In Financial Transparency and BI for Governments

With this post we are initiating coverage of OpenGov, the award-winning, web-based platform for governments that enables governments and citizens to easily access, explore, and share finance and budget information.

There are many other players in this field, but we believe OpenGov now has what it takes to be the market leader and strongly believe they should be evaluated by any government who is seeking solutions in this domain. Here is more on why:

  • OpenGov’s platform is easy to use, both for governments and their citizens.
  • Their platform is highly functional, enabling access to data, including data currently housed in legacy accounting systems (many of which would require special expertise to retrieve the data without OpenGov).
  • Functionality also includes the ability to analyze data, both for governments and citizens. The visualizations of OpenGov are dynamic and compelling and convey very relevant knowledge.
  • It is incredibly fast and easy to get started with OpenGov

Besides these compelling points, OpenGov CEO Zachary Bookman announced a $15M investment by Andreessen Horowitz. They are also in John Chamber’s VC portfolio.

This puts not just cash in their war chest, but it gives them the experience of a deeply trusted network of leaders who get strongly behind any firm they invest in.Some context and a bit of the views of Zach are in this video:

Here is more from their CEO’s blog post on a funding round:

When we co-founded OpenGov two years ago, I was living in a shipping container in Afghanistan while serving as an advisor on the Anti-Corruption Task Force. My partners were technologists from Stanford University and together we embarked on a mission—to build the most powerful web-based business intelligence platform for the world’s most important industry: government.

More than any other industry, government provides services that affect our lives. Yet governments remain the most underserved by technology. For example, the state-of-the-art in financial communication consists of multi-hundred page budget PDFs hanging on government websites (or Excel spreadsheets with tens of thousands of rows of accounting data). We decided to dive in, because governments represent a huge market and because more transparency and better BI will benefit communities across the country.

State and local governments in the U.S. spend approximately $3.7 trillion. The federal government spends $3.5 trillion. Few people know where the money goes or even how their governments work. That’s a problem for democracy. Citizens need to work with their governments in relationships of trust and understanding.

On the inside, senior executives running organizations are charged with tremendous responsibility. These professionals need access to financial data, analytics, and communication tools to do their jobs and ensure operational spending stays within budget. Successfully managing departments, large teams of people, and millions (or billions) of dollars requires good technology.

OpenGov improves workflows for insiders and understanding for outsiders. In late 2012, we released an Annual Reporting capability to a tremendous response. The tool allows executives and citizens to trace the flow of revenues and expenses—budgeted and historical—throughout highly complicated organizations, from departments down through divisions, programs, and objects. Governments, including their CEOs (or “Managers”) and CFOs (or “Finance Directors”), across the globe took interest in the offering and shared with us feedback and other needs we could address.

OpenGov is definitely one worth watching here.

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