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Case Study: How North Lanarkshire Council Uses Master Data Management to Improve Citizen Satisfaction

June 20, 2018
By Peter Tolland
Original Article in GovTech Leaders

Often, government organisations think of their Master Data Management (MDM) solution as a business tool—which it absolutely is. MDM can help state and local governments increase efficiency, optimise cost savings, and streamline processes. But there is another, equally valuable benefit to MDM that might often go overlooked within the organisation—the direct benefit to end users (in this case, citizens). While the business value of MDM is important, if the members of the public aren’t seeing a difference in the quality or experience of the services they’re receiving, has the product really been effective?

Creating a different type of citizen experience

For example, last year North Lanarkshire Council in Glasgow, Scotland, signed on with MDM solutions provider VisionWare to help the Council streamline its Citizen Portal system.

The Citizen Portal is an online service in which citizens of North Lanarkshire can sign in to access a variety of tasks and services, from having a pet microchipped to learning the recycling schedule in their neighbourhood, to arranging repairs on their home or accessing council data. Prior to the Citizen Portal going live in March 2017, there was a very disconnected online presence. Citizens had the ability to conduct their business online, but tasks were disjointed and difficult to find or access, and often required that they sign in multiple times to access various departments and services. We spoke to our citizens and the feedback we received was that they wanted to be able to get in, get what they wanted, and get out quickly again—so we knew we needed a way to clean up and condense the data on the back-end, to simplify and improve the front-end user experience.

Invisible technology for a noticeable difference

In order for our citizens to conduct their business and access the Portal quickly, we need to know who they are. In the past, our citizens might have certain pieces of information about themselves within each separate department or system. With the information fragmented across different back-office systems, we’d struggle to get the necessary information to allow them to access what they were looking for, and often, the interaction would lead to a cumbersome experience or a phone call or face-to-face visit in the end anyway.

Now, an MDM system sits at the heart of our Portal, creating one “golden record” of each citizen, generated from the disparate information we have in our separate systems. The effect is that now, when the citizen logs on, that information can be called forth only one time, instantly. This gives the citizen access to all the services they need, through only one login.

Peter Tolland is CIO of North Lanarkshire Council.

Topics: Master Data Management Solution, Single Citizen View, In the News, Digital Customer Service

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