Open Budget 101 
Schema and Examples

Welcome to Socrata's Open Budget experience. This page is designed to provide documentation that will help your team better understand the Open Budget application, and how you'll need to structure your data so that the application can read and display information in meaningful ways.
This page includes: 
  • Introducing Open Budget
  • Understanding Schemas
  • Schema Documentation
  • Customer Examples 
  • Additional Resources

Introducing Open Budget

Open Budget has two primary components, each with its own set of schemas: Operating Budget and Capital Projects. Having both of these modules at the same time is not required, though it will provide a more robust picture of your budget and its projects. 

Many customers choose to focus their initial efforts on launching the Operating Budget module, and returning to the Capital Budget module after the initial launch as a second phase.

Operating Budget
The Operating Budget module is the portion of the application that shows revenue and expenses for a given year, and is probably what you most likely associate with budget data (e.g. "How much money have I spent compared to how much money am I taking in?").

Two datasets are required for the Operating Budget module: a dataset for revenues and a dataset for expenses.  

Capital Budget
The Capital Budget module allows you to define and highlight capital projects, as well as to provide your constituents with status updates and geographic information. This allows your constituents to be able to understand how projects in their community are being funded, if they are on budget, and whether they are on schedule.

There are two required datasets for the Capital Budget module, and one optional dataset:
  • Capital Budget Dataset - REQUIRED -  Information about the financials behind a project itself, such as fund source, project name, and a unique project ID.
  • Project Details Dataset - REQUIRED - Includes information about each project, such as the address/location of the project, the phase the project is in (see the "phases list" dataset below), and a description of each project.
  • Project Phases List Dataset - OPTIONAL - Allows you to define the different phases of a project. If your government classifies projects with a certain phase classification, you can provide extra detail.

Understanding Schemas

Within the schema documentation, you'll find three field types:
  • Required Fields: These fields are required by Open Budget to function. Think of these fields as the data that you simply could not report spending without. For example, an amount budgeted.
  • Recommended Fields: These fields are not required, but including them will allow users to see a richer picture of your spending information. For example, a description for each budget item or from which fund the budget item comes.
  • Optional Fields: These fields are useful for analysts or power-users accessing the information, or for adding a deeper level of hierarchy. For example, additional classifications of department hierarchy at which the expense is planned to be made.

Schema Documentation

For the full documentation of both schemas for Open Budget, click the links below:
Operating Budget Module Schemas
Capital Budget/Improvements Schemas

Customer Examples

Below are examples of actual customers' Open Budget implementations, from both the application-level as well as the data-level. Use the below examples to explore how the data is structured and how it is displayed in the final version of the application.


City of Barnstable, MA
 Open Budget Datasets

City of Barnstable, MA Budget/CP Application


Douglas County, CO
Budget Datasets

Douglas County, Colorado

Douglas County, CO
Budget Application


State of Connecticut
Budget Datasets 

State of Connecticut
Budget Application

Additional Resources

Our support team has put together a list of articles to assist with your implementation.
Find additional support articles here
Have questions? Feel free to reach out to your program manager, customer success manager, or our support team at