Digital Transformation Blog - Day 7 of 12: Step 4, Keep the Customer at the Center

Keep the customer at the center slide

Mike Wons, DoIT Chief Technology Officer, is our guest writer today. In the blog below, he shares how data analytics is providing information to make understanding and providing services to our customers more effective and efficient.

Technology is only as good as it is useful to customers. DoIT’s customer set includes Illinois citizens, businesses and visitors; and technology users at agencies that provided services to these end customers.

In order to challenge the status quo, first we had to listen to our customers. As we described in the first leadership technique (Focus on Transformation), first few weeks were spent in listening to internal customers. Now listening requires some form of intelligence to identify and isolate real problems.

Based on customer feedback, we took three action items for providing better service to our customers while keeping them at the center:

  1. We decided that innovation should come from the edges, i.e. agencies that are working closest with customers. An Innovation awards process was established. Top 5 innovations (process and/or technology) were submitted to NASCIO annual innovation awards.
  2. We knew we had to improve our customer service process before we can put any technology to that. We invited IIT Institute of Design to work with us on redesigning our customer service using Design methodology. Jeremy Alexis and his team worked with DCEO and team to redesign state’s interaction with Illinois businesses. The initiative is named Springboard and was lead by DCEO. DoIT played the role of advisor and facilitator.
  3. We had to turn Illinois into a data-driven government.
    • We keep a lot of information about our customers. But it sits in hundreds of silo’ed systems/databases. First step towards improving service is to understand more about the customer. In order to do that, we had to unleash the data and put it to better use. 13 agencies came together to sign an enterprise data sharing MoU. We continue to add more agencies to that.
    • We built a statewide center of excellence to enable data sharing, improve decision making via analytics and provide common tools for business intelligence. This makes up our Statewide Data Practice (SDP).
    • We connected data dots for foster children in various systems to build a Child360 view. This proof of concept has been up and running. Child360 will soon be scaled and other customer archetypes will follow Child360.
    • SDP is currently building a technical foundation, with an agreed upon technology stack. We are getting tremendous input from Illinois private sector in building this platform. A sandbox environment has been set up and is being used to prove out our ideas.
    • Illinois is also looking to extend its open data portal. DoIT is working on a procurement for the extension of Open Data Portal, while working with agencies to add data sets to the open data portal.
    • We are also building partnerships with universities to build predictive analytics modules.
    • We are also building partnerships with universities to build predictive analytics modules.
    • We are also building partnerships with universities to build predictive analytics modules.
    • All in all some very strong progress to date...more can be found at:
data analytics for government

In summary, in an organizational digital transformation, customer has to still remain in the center. And customer service transformation is much better enabled by intelligent use of data analytics.