Answered By: Leslie Burmeister
Last Updated: Jan 09, 2019     Views: 154

Public Entrepreneurship

Resources designed to support the EC course, Public Entrepreneurship


Where can I find government data (federal, municipal, city, etc.)?

Lists of and Access to Open Data Repositories over 500 local, regional, and national datasets from around the world, collected by data experts. Use your browser’s find feature, as there is very little indexing. USAFacts is a non-partisan, not for profit initiative to provide easily searchable and displayed data on the American population, government finances, and impact on society. Data is exclusively from publicly available government data sources.  

Forbes list of 85 municipal open data sites

Where can I find information on spending for local governments?

You can find a variety of cities who make data available via easy to navigate “Open Budgets”

Ex. Boston, MA

Cambridge, MA

New York City, NY  

Helsinki, Finland

Open Budgets India – Municipal Corporations

Look at the resources above for more, or a simple Google search of town/city name and “open budget”

What topics are of most concern to city administrators and residents?


News Sources by Region

Factiva - access to many national and local newspapers. Limit by location (look under “Location”) or search specific local newspapers (look under “Source”)

ABI Proquest - additional access to national and local publications. Limit by Geography in the Advanced Search.  

Nexis Uni (formerly Lexis Nexis Academic) – more access to thousands of local newspapers. Go to Menu > All Sources> Limit by Category > News and Jurisdiction.

Citizen Satisfaction Surveys

Google search city/town and “citizen satisfaction survey”

ex. , Kansas City, MS – Citizen Satisfaction Survey

Local area foundations, think tanks and organizations (both governmental and non-governmental) publications

ex. BostonIndicators.orgOurMiami, National League of Cities - Center for City Solutions, Living Cities

Web Search Trends by Geography

Google Trends - How to Explore Results by Region

Twitter Trends by Geography

Twitter advanced search allows you to limit by geography, date, specific users, and more.

What are the Demographics/market size of the area?

There are a variety of data sources available to you – including Geographical Information Services (GIS).

SimplyAnalytics generates tables and maps for the United States including population, age, race, income, employment, and education. Our subscription also allows access to Experian Simmons Local for market research data and D&B for business demographics.

PolicyMap captures data through custom demographic maps, tables, reports and Analytics. Available data includes demographics, home sale statistics, health data, mortgage trends, school performance scores and labor data like unemployment, crime statistics and city crime rates.

American FactFinder provides access to data about the United States, Puerto Rico and the Island Areas. The data in American FactFinder come from many censuses and surveys including the American Community Survey, American Housing Survey and the Economic Census.

Economist Intelligence Unit provides a City Data tool, with an international selection of large cities. Data include costs of goods, rental rates, transportation and incomes. 

Demographics & Consumer Behavior Research Guide (Baker Library)

Additional Resources and Reading

Research Guides

Public Policy Research Guide  (Baker Library)

U.S. Local Government Resources Research Guide (Harvard Kennedy School Library) 


Government Information Quarterly is an international journal that examines the intersection of policy, information technology, government, and the public. Focused on how policies affect government information flows and the availability of government information; the use of technology to create and provide innovative government services; the impact of IT on the relationship between the governed and those governing; and the increasing significance of information policies and IT in relation to democratic practices.

Stanford Social Innovation Review - Cities


Collaborating to manage : a primer for the public sector
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A guide to innovative public-private partnerships : utilizing the resources of the private sector for the public good
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Responsive City
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Startup City
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Ash Center Data Smart City Solutions

Ash Center Government Innovators Network

Open Data’s Impact  

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