When Bob Dylan wrote this iconic song of a generation (or two) ago there is little doubt he was NOT thinking about benchmarking, performance measurement, or the power of trend data and reporting!
However, there are fewer more powerful tools than tracking metrics to help understand and illustrate the impacts of change over time.
With many balls in the air in 2020, and communities and organisations rethinking priorities and a growing awareness of the importance of open space as essential community infrastructure, a new post-COVID normal will arise, with different funding priorities and levels.
Being able to measure impacts and progress going forward will be key to securing sufficient resources to meet what will likely be a demand for higher levels of service. To do this, three pieces of key information are needed:
- What are the services and quantity of assets you are providing
- The cost to operate and maintain these services/assets
- What do your park users think
The first 2 points of information will help identify how efficient your operation is over time, and the last piece of information will relate to measuring user expectations and satisfaction. Combine these into different trend metrics, and a powerful story can emerge.
The IPWEA Yardstick Parks Benchmarks and Surveys projects capture this data at a level of granularity that enables informed decisions on entire services or just parts of an activity. Here we can see how the metrics provided by Yardstick, with some cross-analysis, can help paint a clear picture of the interaction between resources and levels of service.