Here’s what the council’s news release says:
Birmingham City Council and local residents can now work more closely together to discuss issues and identify trends in the community through a brand new web tool.
The ‘Birmingham Civic Dashboard’ allows residents to see local issues reported to the council – such as housing repairs and anti-social behaviour – on an online interactive map.
Every day, the application takes live data from the city’s Customer First contact database and shows trends on the map, allowing both the council and residents to identify ‘hotspot’ areas where issues are common or recurring.
In turn residents can comment on the trends that emerge over time, giving an on-the-ground perspective on particular issues. This is the first time that a UK council has put its service request data online in this way.
The pilot website is part of ‘Make it Local’, a pioneering project run by the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA). The Birmingham Civic Dashboard was developed on behalf of the council by Digital Birmingham and digital production company Mudlark, who together make up one of four teams across the country taking part in the programme.
You can read the rest of the release here
Just from my initial pokings around the site, it’s great to see so much data presented in an easy to use way. There’s no doubt that it will be useful for communities, councillors and officers alike. From a council-nerd point of view, I found it really interesting to see the breakdown of just how residents are contacting the council, with phone still the most popular way for people get in touch.
The project had a relatively small budget and was a public sector/private developer collaboration. Lessons have already been learned for application to later stages of the project.
Next steps are to see how the data is used, how people come back and the questions they ask. Plans are afoot to get people together who are already interested in their area and talk with them about it.
And the Dashboard doesn’t even show the entire level of contact to Birmingham City Council – only those logged on the Contact Centre content management system. People who have visited the website and self-served don’t show up – so real numbers will be even higher.
Definitely a project to watch.
Creative Commons: Project 365: April 28 by cosmicautumn on Flickr