In many U.S. and Canadian communities the telephone number 311 is reserved for access to non-emergency municipal services and is designed to divert routine inquiries and urgent community concerns from 911, the number reserved for emergency services. The systems that power a 311 call center have become a treasure trove of open data possibilities. Welcome the Socrata Service Connect application! This Socrata application enables government organizations to make their citizen services data more transparent, accessible, and understandable to citizens and other key stakeholders, including staff, business owners, and members of the media.
Like every layer of government, 311 call centers are required to deliver efficacy and transparency for the citizens they serve. The accessibility of technology has forced 311 systems to become more than just a simple hotline for citizens. It’s expected to be the multimedia hub for residents to communicate and interact with non-emergency services in their city. Citizens increasingly use mobile technology to send in requests 24 hours a day, seven days a week and expect instant responses to their information service requests. Combined with social media, citizens have been given a new and powerful voice to scrutinize government choices and publicly highlight service failures.
Smart cities are capturing their 311 data and using it to track work, measure performance, and make strategic decisions that affect services policies and budgets. This means in addition to being a powerful tool for augmenting performance-based programs, 311 is a rich source of open data, providing detailed information to residents about the issues facing their communities.
The Socrata Service Connect application takes 311 data and unlocks it for citizens in a visually engaging and mobile responsive interface. Additionally, the application’s administration interface includes analytical tools that help administrators gain insight into the citizen services that people care about the most. For 311 officials and other government agencies, the application improves service delivery by providing unique quantitative insight into how their citizens interact with the app. This allows 311 officials and other agencies to understand the most important services for a specific area of the city.
The Socrata Service Connect application extends the Socrata Open Data Platform to enable citizens and administrators the following features:
- Location-aware technology allows the visualization and discovery of citizen services tickets near them, by type, on a filterable map
- View data about citizen services categories, and neighborhoods, using a “card” based visualization dashboard that include time-series, doughnut, comparison, and summary views
- Drill down, sort, submit (integration required) and update citizen services tickets by:
- Open and close dates
- Customize styling of dashboard cards to curate the data consumption experience
- Design the look and feel of the of app to include splash screen imagery, logo, and colors to create a personalized experience
- Connect to your Kana Lagan system with a few clicks
- Understand usage by accessing analytics that include:
- Which application areas are viewed
- Which ticket types are viewed
- Ticket types viewed by area
- Download all your metrics as a CSV for further analysis in Microsoft Excel, Tableau, etc.
Many cities are in the process of rethinking their 311 approaches at a time when mobile and social networking has tied people together as never before. It’s also clear that city hall should work as a platform to connect communities to each other, giving residents a way to partner with neighbors to collectively prevent and solve problems. Making your 311 data, like your financial and performance management systems, part of your open data initiative is an important part of showing your citizens transparency, efficacy, and responsiveness.
Socrata Service Connect is designed to provide the following key benefits to your city’s 311 program:
- Visual data about citizen services categories and areas using an intuitive card-based dashboard
- Visualizations showcase citizen services priorities
- Location-aware technology allows citizens to visualize and discover citizen services tickets near them, by type, with a filterable map
- Anyone can access data without additional licenses
- Gain unique insight into the areas that are important for your site visitors
- Access the app from either a desktop or mobile browsers