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Menlo Park City School District

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How to Use OpenGov & FAQ's

  • What is OpenGov?
    OpenGov is a financial transparency website which displays government finances over a multi-year period. The default view displays usually expenses broken down by department.

    SOME TIPS FOR USING OPENGOV:

    • OpenGov allows you to explore current and past fiscal information for the MPCSD in simple and specific ways that you control. The main view includes a chart or graph, a legend and various filters to view expenses.

    • There are five different types of charts offering the budget data: An area graph, an area graph by percentage, a line graph, a pie graph and a table. You can change the kind of chart by choosing the chart from the upper right corner of the page.

    • The title of the chart you are viewing is at the top of the page, along with the account type selector. You can use the filter to see the data that is of most interest to you.

    • To find specific data--like a fund, school site, expense type, or any combination--use the menu on the left side panel. With these choices, you can find exactly what you're looking for and then see it in the charts. When you select "Filtered By," the data filter pops up and allows you to turn on or turn off selected filters for that category - funds, departments, expense type. 

    • Some expenses only receive funds from specific resources; If the department or expense is not funded from a particular fund, it will be grayed out.


    How do I select the data I want to see?
    To focus on specific data — like a fund, department, expense type, or any combination — use the menu on the left side panel. The “By” drop-down allows you to specify which breakdown you want the graphs and table rows to represent on the graph. You can analyze the expense and revenues data by fund, department, or type.


    Can I select more than fund or departments?
    Yes. Use the Data Filter on the left side panel to make specific selections within the data. The Data Filter shows you the hierarchical relationships of Funds, Departments, and Account Types. You'll notice the title of the graph you are viewing on top along with the account type selector. You can use the filter to see the data of most interest to you.


    How do I see the actual numbers within the graph?
    Hover over any area of the graph to see the actual or budgeted amounts for that period. Or, just scroll down to see a table with detailed information.


    Can I see the data in a different graph?
    In the upper right hand corner, you will see options for the different graphs and tables. There are five graph types overall: an area graph, an area graph by percentage, a line graph, a pie graph, and a bar chart. There is also always a table view below any chart or graph. The table allows you to zoom-in on the detailed financial data selected in the chart or graph above.


    Why are there sometimes spikes in one year?
    In reviewing multiple years of data, you may see "spikes" in the individual years; this can be due to unexpected expenses, such as a hard winter, equipment failure, a capital project, or a specific event that required additional funds. You can drill-down into our OpenGov site to learn more about what exactly those expense or revenues are categorized.


    Can I save the data I am looking at?
    Yes, there are Share and Download buttons in the upper right corner. You can share any view on a social network or by email. There are also options to download the displayed data in .csv spreadsheet and .png image formats.

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