The project, based in the City of Greater Geelong, was spearheaded by the local coordinator of youth development who was responsible for a team of 20+ staff who operated within a wide geographic area covering 35,000 young people from a range of backgrounds. The end goal of the project was to assist with youth engagement and development while also allowing for digital transformation of their mostly paper practices.
This led to a large amount of manual entry work and double-handling which resulted in fatigue, human error, and issues around the accuracy of the data. It also meant wasting the resources of data inputs, transfers, and report construction which led to logjams, frustration, and delays.
This quickly led to the realization that there was often unreliably-formatted data or no information present at all, reducing the accuracy of their reporting. Given the nature of real-life engagement, this meant staff ended up spending significant amounts of time inputting data rather than meaningfully engaging with the youth they were assigned to for that day. As a result, the data provided had little consistency which made it near impossible to segment – resulting in greatly diminished insight and a lack of understanding of the needs of their audience.
After considering these shortcomings, this led to a need for:
Improved efficiency: Team members needed to be able to record their data quickly and efficiently while also adding rigour and structure to their reports. They had to be able to do it ‘on the go’ where time and resources are at a premium.
Easy analysis: Once data was on the system, team members should be able to access a dashboard that visualised their data in a way that allowed team leaders to track key KPIs for councillors and the public. This should allow for instant analysis and remove the need for data scientists or additional consultants.
Trend analysis: When data from team members was added to the system, it was important to quickly spot trends and allow the team to recommend appropriate courses of action and highlight key common concerns.
As young people were being contacted, data security and the capture of sensitive information was also a concern. This meant that the solution had to be fully compliant with the Australia Privacy Act 1998. As such, the ntropy team was careful to follow internal best practice and to deploy the system onshore in a Microsoft Azure data center.
After working with ntropy’s Customer Success Team, the City decided to use the ntropy Pulse app through mobile, smart devices, and desktops. Unique user profiles were then created for each staff member, allowing their work to be safely tracked. Key engagement information was uploaded onto the system in the form of a questionnaire. This carried specific qualitative and quantitative information.
One of the most useful pieces of functionality was the ability to mark the geographic location of the staff member’s interaction on a map that could then be filtered as required. This allowed the city to sort by area when it came to filtering results and proved to be invaluable when it came to reporting and decision making. It was mission critical to be able to capture geographic locations and be able to provide real-time updates for ongoing work, and to allow for the sharing of dashboards throughout the council.
In order to support this work, ntropy’s Customer Success team created a bespoke training video to be shared internally that detailed key process steps – letting current users and future employees create an account on the system and capture and submit response data. Team leaders were then given training on the additional activities they were specifically responsible for. The ntropy technical team then worked with the city to iterate on their dashboard designs – letting their platform grow and develop based on actual need as opposed to potentially outdated metrics.
ntropy’s suite of analytics allowed staff to quickly identify trends and patterns, drawing out statistics and ensuring their team were hitting KPIs. This was coded with colored shorthand, letting system users take an ‘at a glance’ look at how the team were getting on with their work and if they were falling behind schedule with their interactions.
Blake Edwards, Youth Development Coordinator
Changing to ntropy had a significant impact, saving an unprecedented six days (45 hours) of staff time per week. It increased staff effectiveness and allowed them to make better informed decisions for local young people, while also empowering them to keep oversight of their projects, respond to future change, establish new programs and adjust their approach with ease.
Breaking this down further, as of December 2019, 42,000 interactions have been documented on the platform, with the process allowing the team to move from two to six interactions per day without any effect on productivity. This has allowed the City of Greater Geelong to drive efficiencies throughout the day, and the dashboard is now used to lead team sessions, with the live dashboard shown in the lobby of the building to highlight the progress and targets being hit.
The platform was such as success that Geelong’s Department of Youth Services expanded the solution to include the creation and sharing of feedback campaigns via email that are sent out directly to the youth council and relevant youth population.
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