Open Data as a Platform for Citizen Service Delivery


Multi-channel Access to City Services Made Virtually Effortless

SUMMARY
The Socrata Open Data platform is a cloud-based information delivery platform that can optimize the dissemination of timely and relevant answers to citizen questions through a self-service mode across multiple channels. 

For instance: A city may want to publish all the locations where citizens can access the different services it provides. Using the Socrata platform, service information including description, location and type of service can be published as a structured data set (a table). That dataset can then be explored online, accessed as a searchable map, embedded in various formats on the city's website and shared on social networks. Because the data set is API enabled, citizens can use the Socrata Locator app to query the same information using a text message, or use their voice to get the information they need on an automated interactive voice response system and get accurate real-time answers.

PROBLEM
Delivering relevant and timely information to citizens in a cost-effective manner is an ongoing challenge for city governments. This challenge is made even more difficult with the proliferation of communication channels and the scarcity of resources. With each channel, such as the Internet, Phone, Email, and increasingly large number of social networks, the task of extracting the information, packaging it appropriately for each channel, and then maintaining it over time can be a resource-intensive process. Consequently it is often expensive, slow and error prone.

SOLUTION
The Socrata Open Data platform is a cloud-based information delivery platform that can optimize the dissemination of timely and relevant answers to citizen questions through a self-service mode across multiple channels. 

For instance: A city may want to publish all the locations where citizens can access the different services it provides. Using the Socrata platform, service information including description, location and type of service can be published as a structured data set (a table). That dataset can then be explored online, accessed as a searchable map, embedded in various formats on the city's website and shared on social networks. Because the data set is API enabled, citizens can use the Socrata Locator app to query the same information using a text message, or use their voice to get the information they need on an automated interactive voice response system and get accurate real-time answers.
 

IMPACT ON ECONOMY
Our solution generates significant Savings for cities:

1) It eliminates the need to create multiple versions of the same information and to develop specific applications to optimize information delivery for each information channel. The information is published and maintained in one step. Distribution and optimization for each channel are built into the Socrata platform. 

2) The delivers effective self-service. It also significantly diminishes calls to call centers in the city. 

A Satisfying Multi-channel Experience for All Citizens:

1) This is an inclusive experience where the citizen can choose their interaction channel of choice and still get the same results. Importantly, voice-enabled technology ensures that people who cannot access the city's website still get served. 

2) Citizens are not limited to consuming the information, they can also enrich it with every interaction. Any citizen, can contribute to the information by commenting on it, or creating their own unique visualization or list, so that others may benefit. This social experience makes information delivery easier, more effective and ultimately less expensive.