Budget & Finance Interactive Web Tool - "How To" Q&A

Links

LAUNCH the Budget & Finance Web Tool Portal

See the Budget Web Tool "How to" Q&A web page

Return to the Budget Office home page

For More Information

Contact Robin Campbell
Budget and Fiscal Manager
campber@co.thurston.wa.us
360-709-3063

Contact Shawn McDonald
Senior Management Analyst
mcdonsm@co.thurston.wa.us
360-754-3355 ext 6219

Thurston County Commissioner's Office
2000 Lakeridge Dr SW
Olympia, WA 98502-6045

Our new interactive web tool for the county’s budget and financial information is powered by OpenGov. The site allows you to explore the county’s budget and historical finances in a simple, graphical interface. Each graph or chart is interactive, dynamic, and shareable.


Q: What is OpenGov?
A: OpenGov is a financial transparency website which displays the County's finances over a seven (7) year period. The default view displays the County’s expenses broken down by department.


Q: How do I select the data I want to see?
A: 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, project, or type.


Q: Can I select more than fund or departments?
A: 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.


Q: How do I see the actual numbers within the graph?
A: 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.


Q: Can I see the data in a different graph?
A: 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 table. 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.


Q: Why are there sometimes spikes in one year?
A: In reviewing the budgets, you may see "spikes" in the individual years—this can be due to unexpected expenses (such as a hard winter, equipment failure) or a specific event that required additional funds, etc. Spikes can also occur when there is a large one-time expenditure, such as a one-time capital project expense. The interactive tool allows you to drill down into the details of a “spike” by simply clicking on that part of the graph.


Q: Can I save the data I am looking at?
A: 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.


Q: How do I learn more about government accounting?
A: Use the Help menu on the top right corner to navigate to the “Budget 101” primer to learn more about multi-fund accounting.


Q: I have a question, how do I contact the county?
A: Use the Help menu on the top right corner to navigate to the “Contact Thurston County” option to send your message to the county.


OpenGov  

LAUNCH
the Budget & Finance
Interactive Web Tool

Click on the Go! button to launch the Thurston County Budget & Finance Interactive Web Tool in a new window.

Having trouble? Try copying and pasting this Web address into your Web browser: https://ThurstonCounty.OpenGov.com