Dashboards give you a visual picture of the most important aspects of your office’s or municipality’s current status. Whether it’s the total number of building permits in process, the amount of new construction, the percentage of late property taxes received, or other metrics, you have the tools at your literal fingertips to help your management and stakeholders clarify how well they’re serving your residents.
What are the most critical key performance indicators (KPIs) that reveal what you and your team are doing well, or where you can stand to make the most improvement?
How long does it take for a new permit (business, construction, etc.) to be completed? You likely have an expectation for how long it should take for an application to go through the entire process. If you see those processes taking, on average, longer than usual, you know there may be some opportunities for improvement.
Increases or Decreases in the Use of Public Facilities
Civic-owned facilities are critical to bringing jobs and opportunities (not to mention revenue) to municipalities. If you see a serious drop in revenues or reservations for convention centers, recreation centers, parks, and more, that’s a signal that you have improvements to make. Often, planners are aware of those issues well in advance, but by monitoring that simple data point, you have a better way to forecast potential revenue shortfalls before they become critical.
Follow the Money
What happens when there’s a sudden and unexpected drop in compliance in paying permit fees, licensing fees, business taxes, and so on? Those could be indicators that residents don’t have the access they need to more streamlined payment processes, or that a step in those processes is possibly broken.
Churn and Burn: Look for High Turnover
Relationships are one of the most underrated drivers of value. Residents and constituents often have more patience and greater trust with familiar names and faces. If you suddenly see a lot of turnover in a single department, that will eventually impact your budget. Not only will it erode community trust, but the cost of attracting and training new staff isn’t trivial. It could mean that you need to address one simple issue, or at the very least, seek stakeholder involvement to diagnose and solve the problem.
If there’s anything we can predict about people, it’s that we’re far more likely to complain than we are to provide positive comments. If someone has a terrible experience or feels like they’ve been mistreated, they will look for ways to share that information, even if it’s on a public-facing, non-civic website like social media or a Google business page. By monitoring those various complaints internally, you can spot trends to improve or streamline outward-facing services, improving resident satisfaction on the way.
What KPIs are you currently tracking, and how can you better spot trends and data to help you improve your workflows?
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