National Research Center’s Top Ten Blog Articles of 2015

2015 was a busy year for NRC in creating web content.  We wrote about everything from data analysis and local government conferences to news updates and food. 

We focused on professional development, dug deep into our national survey database, blazoned the Voice of the People Awards and shared a little bit of our work-lives at National Research Center.

Tom Miller PNG“I enjoy writing articles that allow us to dig deeper into our entire database – to discover findings we wouldn’t by just looking at one or two jurisdictions’ survey results,” NRC President and writer Tom Miller commented.  He says the blog is an opportunity to look beyond the data and to discuss the bigger picture.  “Ultimately we want to use that data for community betterment and writing these blogs helps us to do that.”

Looking back over dozens of articles, we realized many them are just as relevant in 2016 as they were last year.  So we measured page-views and relevancy to count down our top ten blog articles of 2015.

10.  DO AMERICANS FEEL LAW ENFORCEMENT HAS FAILED THEM?​
protesting police violence
Photo by Debra Sweet. Flickr. CCBY

Current news has been saturated with alleged incidents of racially aggravated police violence. Imagery depicting mostly young, black men shot by mostly white police officers has incited waves of further news and editorials, strong emotions and a national movement. A Google search of “Race and Police Brutality” pulls up scores of webposts asserting ill-intent and bad behavior on the part of America’s police forces….

 

9.  4 THINGS WE LEARNED ABOUT DATA, LEADERSHIP AND BUDGETING AT THE CPBB CONFERENCE
CPBB 2015 Conference Image
Photo by Angelica Wedell. CPBB 2015 Conference.

The Center for Priority Based Budgeting (CPBB) lead about 100 community officials into critical discussions on budgeting, leadership and the data-driven future at their 4th Annual Conference in Denver.  This year’s “unconference” featured innovators in local government who pioneer best practices in data-based initiatives.  As a company who collects, analyzes and provides the data needed to drive communities forward, National Research Center, Inc. (NRC) was pleased to attend the conference and gather a few notes to share…

 

8.  THE REAL WINNERS OF THE VOICE OF THE PEOPLE AWARDS
A Crowd of Winners
A town of winners.

Each year, National Research Center, Inc. (NRC) presents the Voice of the People (VOP) Awards in collaboration with the International City/County Management Association (ICMA).  As the only awards given in local government based on community opinion, the implications are profound…

 

7.  DATA ENVY? DON’T WORRY; YOUR DATA ARE BIG ENOUGH!
miller-march
The brain processing big data.

Have you begun to feel the pressure to start collecting, storing and analyzing data about your residents’ consumer behavior, television viewing habits, doctor visits, left turns? Has the talk about linking resident movements with the tides and sun spots gotten a bit outré? These pressures come from the push for big data where getting lots of bytes and seeing ‘what’ correlates with ‘what’ can help you discover unexpected, interesting and, better-yet, useful information…

 

6.  ROCK HILL: A LEADER IN STRATEGIC PLANNING
riverrocks
River flowing in Rock Hill.

If you ask local government leaders about expertise in strategic planning, you will likely hear about the City of Rock Hill, South Carolina. Rock Hill has earned a reputation as an exemplar of successful strategic planning; every three years, city leadership formulates a new strategic plan outlining goals and priorities, beginning each strategic plan with a citizen survey to hear the voice of the community…

 

5.  LOCAL GOVERNMENT SHOULD CARE ABOUT EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT AS MUCH AS THE FEDS
Employees
A group of employees.

Many jurisdictions hire independent firms to track resident perspectives about community quality of life and service delivery. However, when it comes to monitoring the health of the local government workforce, assessment is less consistent. Paying more attention to understanding residents and less attention to knowing about your work force is a little like planning a road trip by plotting your route but forgetting to check the oil…

 

4.  IS TRANSPARENCY WORTH ITS REPUTATION?
transparency-business
Crystal clear transparency.

Government transparency is short hand for management that is accountable, welcoming and honest. Transparent government is good government with expected outcomes like more fairness, economic strength, citizen engagement and quality of life for residents. These anticipated outcomes are to be admired even if only imagined…

 

3.  RECOGNIZING THE 2015 VOICE OF THE PEOPLE AWARD WINNERS
VOP Poster
Image by Angelica Wedell. Voice of the People Award Winners Map 2015.

National Research Center, Inc. (NRC) is proud to announce the winners of the Voice of the People Awards.  Only given to jurisdictions that best listen and act to improve their communities, the awards this year are most competitive.  Based on responses from The National Citizen Survey™ (The NCS™), residents of these municipalities report the highest quality of life ratings compared with all other participating jurisdictions…

 

2.  10 LOCAL GOVERNMENT BLOGS YOU SHOULD FOLLOW
Blog Notes
Ready to take some blog notes.

Keeping current in local government often requires catching up on the latest hot topics for today’s communities, learning best practices from peers, taking advantage of available resources and picking the minds of thought-leaders in the field.  These tasks may seem overwhelming in our data-saturated society, where time is limited and information is endless…

 

1.  NATIONAL RESEARCH CENTER EXPOSES $3,000 MARIJUANA INTERNET SCAM
Warning Lights
Warning lights.

It circulated all over the Internet; an article claiming that “a National Research Center” is paying people $3,000 to use marijuana for a medical study.  The article even went so far as to name-drop legitimate organizations (including NRC) in attempts to make these claims seem credible….

 

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