Baltimore reached the lowest infant mortality rate the city has ever recorded in 2012. Denver Public School students saw test scores improve by 14% in reading and 23% in math. And between 2006 and 2012, low-income New Yorkers have accessed an additional $100 million in tax credits that they were previously leaving on the table.
These urban policy wins were not merely the products of creativity and inspiration. They were powered by cold, hard, data. Bridgespan, a nonprofit consultancy for philanthropists and mission-driven organizations, and the education organization America Achieves have released a big report packed with case studies that illuminate a broader trend: how data-driven decision making can lead to the most effective use of a city’s limited financial resources.