Using data to give ‘buy local’ a boost

Name: Haley Kadish

Title: Performance & Innovation Officer

City: Albuquerque, N.M.

Now more than ever, city governments want to spend their money with local firms in order to boost struggling local economies. Haley Kadish has some advice for them: Get the data first.

That’s what supercharged the Buy Local initiative she leads in Albuquerque. Kadish built a data dashboard that allows city departments to see their local spend in real time. Having these numbers readily available is igniting friendly competition between departments to buy more from local firms. It’s also busting some myths about procurement.

For example, to Kadish’s surprise, the data showed that local vendors are doing just fine when it comes to competing on big procurements that require submitting complex proposals. Where there’s more room for local businesses, it turned out, is on smaller deals. That’s where departments have more discretion and can easily fall into a pattern of using the same vendor over and over, even if they’re out-of-state.

That insight has, for now, pointed Kadish away from a complex overhaul of the request-for-proposal process and toward simpler fixes like giving departments a directory of local businesses to consider purchasing with. “If they don’t know about local vendors, they’re not going to get quotes from local vendors,” she said. Next up, Kadish is hoping to work with departments to set realistic buy-local targets for each.

“Before, departments felt like they were being told to switch to local vendors, but they couldn’t tell where they were going wrong,” Kadish said. “Now they have the tools to fix it.”

Pro tip: “When trying to change a process in a big organization, try to find the person or department who has figured out how to maneuver through it, and then replicate what they’ve done.”




Celebrating public sector progress and innovation in cities around the world. Run by @BloombergDotOrg’s Government Innovation program.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

Demographic Analysis of the Des Moines Farmers Market with Foot Traffic Data

Predicting success of offers sent by Starbucks

Data Structures .

Creating Beautiful Maps with Python Beyond the defaults

What research fields have emerged in the last years? A machine learning approach

Data Visualization with Python

Semantic Similarity and Autonomous Tagging for Q&A forums

Should We Stay in Data Science?

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Bloomberg Cities

Bloomberg Cities

Celebrating public sector progress and innovation in cities around the world. Run by @BloombergDotOrg’s Government Innovation program.

More from Medium

Gaps in the market? Learn how to start a business through them.

5 Ways to Improve Patient Experience in Digital Healthcare

Why Businesses need a Digital Strategy for Sustainability — and where to start

How To Quantify Why Customers Reach Out