As a native Chattanoogan, I’ve witnessed our city’s transformation from “the dirtiest city in America” to “Gig City.” As a City of Chattanooga IT employee of thirty years, I’ve also seen many technological changes. In that area, however, we’ve not always kept pace with our fair city in terms of transformation and improvement.
The City of Chattanooga’s primary website, chattanooga.gov, was developed more than eight years ago, before smartphones were ubiquitous. It has eight-plus years of editing by hundreds of hands, and it’s dated, bloated, and in desperate need of an overhaul.
Over the past 10-15 years, the City’s IT department has focused on commercial, off-the-shelf (COTS) software almost exclusively, and this has led to many silos of data. There is duplicate information, conflicting information, and no feasible way to see this date holistically.
When Mayor Berke took office, one of his focus areas was open data and performance metrics. This led to the creation of the Office of Performance Management and Open Data, and it was the first step in a direction out of which the My Chattanooga vision has evolved.
MyChattanooga aims to be, first and foremost, your interface to city government information and services. But more than that, it will be the centerpiece for the consolidation and dissemination of data; the point at which the silos of information are brought together and made logically and simply accessible.
It is our hope that this digital transformation will represent another big step forward for our amazing town: a technological face for our municipal government befitting our reputation, and something about which we can all be proud.