The NASCIO 2017 Annual Conference is sharing best practices, key lessons, and useful strategies for state and local government technology leaders. For those unable to attend the conference, MeriTalk State & Local is sharing key lessons, in a bite-size format, from the conference. Next up: Using technology to delight citizens.

Frequently when people have to interact with their state government, they aren’t in the mood to be delighted. Michele Hovet, director of innovation, KSM Consulting, knows that. But, she thinks technology can help change the status quo.

Michele Hovet (Photo: KSMC)

“We are a nation elected by the people, for the people,” Hovet said. “Over time we’ve lost our focus on what our citizens need. My goal is to switch that around. I want people to be delighted with their government.”

The key to delighting citizens, according to Hovet, is data. Luckily, the government has tons of it.

“The data government is sitting on can provide new avenues to delight citizens,” Hovet said. “Data isn’t stopping or slowing down.”

However, many governments don’t know how to collect, store, and analyze data properly. Hovet pointed out that we are all data rich, and information poor. So, Hovet asks government leaders: How do you take the data and personalize it for citizens to delight them?

Aside from deploying strong analytics programs, the key component to transforming data into delight is empathy, said Hovet.

“Technologies need to start with empathy,” Hovet said. “To deliver new services and reimagine existing services, we must put ourselves in our own shoes. After all, we are all citizens.”

Government leaders can use data analytics and empathy to personalize the government experience. Analyzing data properly allows for customization and personalization. Empathy allows government leaders and technologists to consider the citizen’s wants and needs when deciding what websites, apps, and solutions they will create.

“Focus on the people and the needs of the community,” Hovet said.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs