The City of Richardson has been named a top 10 digital city government by e.Republic’s Center for Digital Government (Center) and the Digital Communities Program in the 12th annual Digital Cities Survey, released today. Richardson was the only Texas municipality recognized in the top 10 in the 75,000 – 124,999 population category.
“We are honored to be recognized nationally for our digital efforts and high-tech innovation,” said Richardson Mayor Bob Townsend. “Richardson and its Telecom Corridor ® area have a long-standing global reputation for technological innovation. This honor further validates that our City government continues to serve as a leader in developing and implementing municipal technology initiatives, which helps enable us to more efficiently and effectively serve our community.”
The survey criteria focused on results achieved by cities, via the use of technology, in operating efficiencies and realizing strategic objectives despite current fiscal constraints. The cities ranked in the survey had solutions to questions such as how the city has dealt with the economic downturn. The survey also asked the cities how they handle technology challenges such as keeping up with use of mobile devices for government business, social media technology and management, data safety as well as usability, integrating mobile computing with smart phones and tablets, consolidating services across agencies, cloud vendor management, policies on BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), and telework and issues such as code changes.
“Cities that are investing in technology are seeing tremendous cost savings that are critical to operations and their ability to meet higher demand for services,” said Todd Sander, executive director for the Center. “These cities are true innovators and we applaud them as they work in the spirit of collaboration to provide extraordinary value to constituents despite budget setbacks.”
Among other digital innovations, Richardson has recently earned honors for its newly re-designed website, and for its use of business intelligence and predictive analytics to improve operations in every City department.
The new website at www.cor.net, launched in March 2012, won this year’s top award from the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers (TAMIO) for website design in a community with a population less than 100,000. Most recently, the City earned a 2012 MarCom Creative Award recognizing the City’s outstanding performance in the category of website design. The upgraded site features a variety of enhancements that promote easy resident, business and visitor access to municipal services and information.
Richardson also recently won a 2012 Best of BI (Business Intelligence) Editor’s Choice Award in Computerworld Magazine’s inaugural business intelligence awards competition. Richardson was the only city nationwide to earn the prestigious honor, which recognizes 10 organizations in the public or private sector that are using business intelligence and predictive analytics to gain valuable operational insights from their existing data.
As noted in the Computerworld profile featuring the award winners, six years ago Richardson scrapped its outdated reporting systems in favor of Information Builders’ WebFocus application. The WebFocus system is agile, straightforward and user-friendly, and has improved operations in every City department while delivering an outstanding return on investment.
City leaders have found that the WebFocus application saves time in data retrieval while also producing valuable business information and analytics that wouldn’t otherwise be available. For example, through use of the application, Richardson’s Water Department can access and analyze data geographically; the Code Enforcement Department produces reports in minutes, rather than days; the Police Department can compile monthly crime reports in minutes instead of days; police officers can access active reports from smartphones and drill down in the data to gain valuable insights while on the scene of an incident; the Fire Department can track emergency data to determine if existing ambulance resources are sufficient to meet the community’s needs; and City Council members are able to access and study a broad cross-section of collected data, in order to determine where funds should be allocated to best serve the citizenry.
The Center for Digital Government is a national research and advisory institute on information technology policies and best practices in state and local government. The Center is a division of e.Republic, a national publishing, events and research company focused on smart media for public sector innovation. The survey was open to all U.S. cities with a population of 30,000 or more. More information and other winners can be found at www.digitalcommunities.com.