Smarter Request Management with the On-Demand and Automated Data Reporting Tools in SeeClickFix
In 2012, Enfield, Connecticut—a town of 45,000 on the state line with Massachusetts—had been using a web-based non-emergency service request tool for several years. Even with this tool, however, Enfield lacked a means of leveraging the collected data to gain insight into request recurrence patterns, geographical distribution, workflow management, or operational efficiency.
- Current tool effected negligible citizen use because of its complexity and lack of usability
- No insight into request recurrence patterns, geographical distribution, workflow management, and operational efficiency
- A number of service requests were not tracked by the system, therefore the collected data was not comprehensive
- One platform for residents to easily communicate service requests
- The ability collect information on location, report platform, time to acknowledge, and time to close for each reported request
- A measure of accountability that prevents unresolved or chronic requests from falling through the cracks
- Report generation tool
- Automated recurring data reports
- Mobile-first design
- Cross-platform compatibility
The existing third-party tool was embedded into Enfield’s public- facing website but effectively negligible citizen use. Enfield’s primary users were municipal workers who relied on the system to create day-to-day work orders for internal use. In fact, the most frequently filed requests were streetlight outages reported by Enfield Police patrols. A small volume of service requests—mostly pertaining to potholes—was citizen-initiated; however, the complexity and lack of usability of the online form kept most of the public away. On the backend, the system allowed for only the most basic data analysis. requests could be sorted by date or grouped by category, but these reporting methods did not provide clear insight into resolution efficiency, workflow management, or labor intensity, nor did they provide any means of long-term request tracking. Moreover, as a number of service requests were not tracked by the system—including those more visible ones initiated by citizen phone calls—the collected data was far from comprehensive.
SeeClickFix added several dimensions to each data point when compared to the system it replaced. Not only could Enfield capture report time and category as before, but the town was now also able to collect information on location, report platform, time to acknowledge, and time to close for each reported request.
The report generation tool in the SeeClickFix management console allowed Enfield employees to filter the complete request dataset along any and all request dimensions in order to easily generate shareable reports on-demand. These reports are frequently used internally by Enfield employees both to communicate with supervisors and for interdepartmental updates. At any given time, SeeClickFix reports can be found on desks up and down the town’s operational structure from those of municipal workers in the field to that of the Town Manager.
The SeeClickFix management console also allowed Enfield to set up a number of automated recurring data exports to key officials’ email inboxes. These reports are fully customizable in frequency and along any of the dimensions that define a set of service requests (e.g. resolution status, date, category, &c.).
Relevant officers in Enfield are notified on a weekly basis of the resolution status of the specific service requests that fall under their purview. Similarly, the town has set up an automated report to notify managers of requests that have languished without a resolution status change for more than a week, providing a measure of accountability that prevents unresolved or chronic requests from falling through the cracks as was more common before SeeClickFix.
Finally, citizen use of digital service request reporting has increased tenfold since the platform’s introduction. Whereas the old system brought in an average of ten citizen- generated requests per month, SeeClickFix reliably generates about one hundred such tickets in the same time period. Deep crowdsourcing has given town managers a more complete, geographically and temporally relevant dataset as well as a more holistic understanding of the requests citizens care most about. Officials attribute this increase to the SeeClickFix system’s instantaneous mobile-first design, general ease of use, and cross-platform compatibility.
Enfield Webmaster Scott St. Onge has noted a marked change in Enfield’s request resolution and service management culture since the implementation of SeeClickFix. Employees’ increased access to on-demand and automated data reports has led directly to credible gains in accountability and efficiency. These have been organically realized throughout the town with only modest public advertising of the new platform on social media and public access television as well as strategic placement of context-aware links to the web reporting tool and internal promotion. Overall, the service has brought about a means and an expectation of clear, data-driven communication.