Getting a driver’s license, registering a car, buying a fishing license, or paying property taxes all involve digital government processes. Government entities are digitizing and streamlining processes while utilizing performance data from digitization efforts to improve and optimize citizen touchpoints or the “customer experience.” Government entities invested in digital services to reduce wait times for paperwork processing or essential remote government services through a global pandemic. These simple, suitable initiatives miss opportunities by failing to optimize digital efforts.
Taking forms and payment processing online isn’t the full potential of government digital experiences. Governments offer a wide range of services and mountains of information citizens need, but that’s no excuse for miserable user experiences. Thankfully, data analytics helps any organization improve and optimize digital experiences for end users, including government entities. Government entities utilize user behavior data to inform citizen needs and drive improvements for online citizen interactions.
Resurface Buried but Relevant Content
Imagine looking at collected data and noticing that the search term for “free fishing days” has increased from 10th highest term to 4th highest term. You also notice that pageviews for the page with the dates listing the free fishing days also increased recently. Lastly, you see a sizeable increase of users coming from one specific referral source, and those users are spending a lot of time on the site but have noticeably short time on page numbers.
Connecting these data points lets you find the right trail to follow and creates a larger picture. You find your site links from the specific referral source; however, while the text is about “free fishing days,” the link goes to your homepage, not the direct page with the relevant information. When a user lands on your homepage, they struggle to find the information through browsing (long session with short time per page) before conducting a narrower search.
With this collective information, you know to resurface that content on the homepage or deliver better navigation, so users find the information faster and without frustration. While the solution might seem obvious in hindsight, the solution only appeared thanks to data collection and analytics. Building better paths to resurface and present information enables better digital experiences with existing content. You can see what and how to improve by putting the data together.
Use Expansive Data Analysis to Meet Citizen Needs
Government entities keep an eye on the trends and finger on the pulse to understand citizens’ needs. However, many varying factors can change what citizens need from their government. Whether a global pandemic or changes to local laws, citizens’ needs change based on what is happening around them. When governments combine website behavior tracking with public online behavior data, such as common Google searches, and internal data including, zero-party data, increased calls and emails to agencies, government entities can start serving citizens the content they need at the most critical times. This information also helps governments proactively build and digitize applications, forms, and processes in priority based on measured needs.
Streamline and Optimize Digital Forms and Processes
Using digitization for forms and applications is a quick method to make government processes more available to citizens while streamlining and shortening processing times. However, without proper care, digital versions can create just as much frustration for the end user. Tracking processes with digital analytics and collected data utilization mitigates and rectifies issues across the digital experience to remove headaches.
For instance, picture creating a funnel report based on your application processes and finding that many users leave the document upload page and never return. You also notice that this step has a long time elapsed, the time it took a user to go from one step to the next, before users reach the next step. You realize the application intro page only has three of the five needed documents listed, causing confusion. People either drop off or take more time to gather all the documents. Update the text to include all the document information and fewer people drop off with less time taken at this step. Data analysis shows you the largest roadblocks for citizens rather than hunting for them by hand. Forms and documents are a cornerstone of government entity experiences, so ensure the process is as smooth as possible.
Deliver More Information with Unauthenticated Personalization
Personalization is standard practice in many industries. Amazon shows you things to buy based on previous purchases, while Netflix recommends things to watch based on previously watched shows and movies. Governments enact this practice by serving citizens content based on analysis of their digital behavior and collected data.
Envision that you notice certain users view pages for food and winter heating assistance. You also notice most of these users are from a mobile site. Based on this data, you can use personalization to serve them content regarding similar assistance programs such as, summer cooling assistance, renting rebate programs, and information for a new mobile app that lets them view and manage their food assistance account. Saving those users time by delivering the information keeps frustrations away and creates streamlined experiences towards vital services. Personalization is invaluable for users who don’t know the site’s layout or how to use digital touchpoints. Government services should be as easy to access as possible rather than siloed away or hidden by lacking awareness for user needs. Relevant personalization ensures the right people see the correct information.
The Future of Online Government Experiences
While the data utilizations detailed above improve citizen interaction with digital governments, government entities also consider long-term data utilization.
Some government entities are already on their way to offering a fully tailored authenticated citizen portal that uses self-given or zero-party data combined with website behavior data to create a personalized experience. These citizen-focused experiences facilitate smoother online government interactions and improved completion of citizen tasks such as car registry and government tasks such as obtaining a fishing license.
The US state of Hawaii has a citizen portal where citizens to log in and view a history of payments for various government services, allows businesses to file their paperwork with the state, and more. Hawaii plans to continue iterating on the citizen portal to increase services available to citizens “including personalized notices when bills or payments are due as well as notifications for important filing deadlines.” Additionally, other US states, such as Connecticut, have started authenticated experiences for citizens who own businesses and plan to expand an authenticated experience to all citizens in the future.
Forward-thinking governments recognize the transformative power data holds in meeting residents’ diverse needs. By adopting effective data management practices, governments can unlock the potential to optimize resources, stay ahead of the curve, and earn the public’s trust. The State of Connecticut is dedicated to leveraging data safely and efficiently, empowering us to make more informed decisions and foster deeper connections with the communities we serve.
– Max Gigle of the Bureau of Information Technology Solutions (BITS) for the State of Connecticut
Use Data Analysis for Citizen-Centric Experience Improvements
Digital analytics help many businesses improve user experiences, and government entities use the same proven methods to offer citizens a better experience. By using data collection and analytics, government entities improve processes for citizens and foster engagement rather than frustration.
External factors, such as the COVID-19 global pandemic or economic turbulence, only increase the need to bring government processes online effectively and have meaningful digital communications with citizens. Digital analytics is a proven avenue for government offices to stay ahead while providing citizens with the best government interactions possible.
Need help knowing the best ways to utilize your data or if you are tracking the right data points? Contact BlastX Consulting today to see how we can help you and your data go further.