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This blog post explores the idea that service analytics could help improve service design and delivery across government.

By service analytics, we mean information such as web statistics, helpdesk and telephony service logs, transactional service logs and even social media statistics. This data has great value in understanding the journey and challenges of people who use government services, so we are exploring those opportunities, always making sure such data would drive systemic and service improvements without identifying the person.

In the Service Innovation Lab, we look for ways to have both direct and indirect impacts on creating better public services for New Zealand Aotearoa. Across public services, we need to measure the impact of change. This means understanding the impact of a new, changed or removed service. Because so many services are related, we need better ways of measuring and monitoring service analytics across channels and agencies if we are to see the full user journey. This creates a direct influence for people responsible for services.

We also know government agencies need to prioritise their portfolio and Ministerial obligations, which will always drive a siloed behaviour to some degree. When you see the impact of change across the entire government system, you can start to drive more all-of-system accountability and behaviours from those agencies. So service analytics could help influence better services for New Zealanders and reduce the temptation to shift problems around agencies.

Our hypothesis is a cross agency, service analytics evidence base, that is entirely anonymised or de-identified, would be good reusable component to drive better services, better collaboration and behaviours, and indeed better targeting of investment that could be transformative.

So far, we have done two pieces of work to explore this concept:

  1. Early user (in agencies) needs research - over a couple of days we spoke to service analytics folk from different government agencies to identify how service analytics are used, their user needs and people trying to get value from service analytics, and the possible value to agencies and services. This content is captured in this report.

  2. Design investigation into service analytics - a design investigation explored the feasibility, capability and usability of a Service Analytics model for revealing the customer experience through a ‘life event’ journey with government. A core team of agency stakeholders, subject matter experts and service designers came together as decision makers. The remit was to explore the value of Service Analytics for service design, delivery and impact assessment efforts.

We have seen a lot of examples of great service analytics around single services (usually websites), but usually they are single dashboard per service approaches. This is great for individual services but misses the user journey beyond single transactions or interactions. We have learned a lot from work around the world, but have not yet seen an example of this cross channel and cross agency approach, particularly where data is purposefully de-identified.  We would welcome any examples or feedback on the idea as we continue to explore the concept. We imagine such information, which is more real time than administrative data, could provide a complementary source of evidence for government and communities.

If you'd like to stay across the work from the Service Innovation Lab, please join our mailing list.

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