Revitalizing Governance with Data Driven Customer Experiences

This week, we continue our series on Reinventing Civic Services with Intelligent Automation with a look at the role data integration plays in achieving winning customer experiences. 

You’d be hard pressed to find three more distinctly different communities than Philadelphia, Albuquerque, and Douglas County.

Yet, despite the great distances that separate them geographically and the broad diversity of the governance innovations they’ve achieved, all three communities share a common ground in their approach to revitalizing citizen services that starts with their approach to data, intelligent automation and a philosophy towards core infrastructure investment that is closely aligned to a clearly articulated and long-term innovation vision.

Accessible & Actionable Data

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For a prospective award-winning ‘Digital City or County,’ it starts with a commitment to breaking down the silos across internal agencies to create accessible and actionable data for all stakeholders – both internal and external. Doing so ensures the correct framework for data provision across the full spectrum of potential civic services, and true data transparency for citizens. Of equal importance, it empowers the entirety of an organization to embrace data-driven decision making with subsequent workflows designed to optimize automated processes, rather than servicing inefficient and poorly integrated manual processes.

In realizing the endgame of ‘big data,’ pay close attention to the commonalities of our innovation trio:

  1. Each created and emboldened agency-wide ‘innovation initiatives’ designed to encourage data sharing and discourage turf ‘protection.’ Sharing is properly incentivized through a broader mandate to facilitate improvements in service delivery outcomes and citizen user experiences.
  2. By creating ‘innovation task forces’ to pioneer data-driven citizen services, open data projects quickly evolved from theoretical exercises to practical applications with accessible data becoming the raw fuel that fires invention.
  3. With data broadly accessible across all departments, each of our innovative jurisdictions invested in a core land management, licensing and permitting solution to facilitate a robust and flexible data warehouse and reporting platform, providing immediate information access to empower organization-wide data openness, transparency and decision processes.

Creating improved data transparency across agencies can also have a substantial impact on the bottom line, with rapid return on investment making a strong business case for further innovation investment.

In 2018, the City of Philadelphia began enforcement efforts to increase local non-tax collections through an L&I billing project. When L&I performs work on a property, they bill the owner for the service. If the bill is left unpaid, a lien may be entered against the property and it is the Department of Revenue’s responsibility to collect the obligation. With this Data Warehouse, the City is identifying property owners who have outstanding L&I obligations and billing them directly. As a result, the City has generated $12 million in recovered tax revenues.

The benefit of this connected system is that, “because our departments work so closely together, we need a system that allows us to share data quickly and easily. Using POSSE, separate departments can simultaneously share and review a document, rather than waiting for a hard copy to make its way between multiple people reviewing it individually.”
Assistant Planning Director Steve Koster
Douglas County, Colorado

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