This article examines the use of performance information by public managers. It conceptualizes purposeful data use as a type of extra‐role behaviour which requires additional effort on the part of the managers and which is not extrinsically rewarded. The article sheds light on one potential antecedent of performance information use – the motivation of the users. It argues that we can observe high levels of data use if managers driven by public service motivation (PSM) work under transformational leaders. Using a needs–supply perspective on supervisors and followers, we suggest that there is a PSM–leadership fit which fosters the performance of this extra‐role behaviour. The article is based on data from German local government and its findings contribute to the literatures on PSM as well as on performance management.