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Keeping Track of What Is Happening in My Community with Civic Insight: Creating an Amazon.com experience for government…and much more

Keeping Track of What Is Happening in My Community with Civic Insight: Creating an Amazon.com experience for government…and much more

Today, I am proud to announce that Accela has entered into a strategic partnership with Civic Insight. In this blog post, I will discuss three tangible benefits Accela customers and citizens will gain from bringing the Civic Insight team into Accela.

1. Understanding what is going on in my neighborhood

At Accela, we take a lot of inspiration from our neighbors in the Bay Area that are disrupting the way we do things. As such, we have also closely followed the success of nextdoor.com, which makes it easy for citizens to be up to date on what’s going on in their communities.

We believe Civic Insight, which gives residents a new level of transparency – from what type of commercial property is being developed four blocks over, to keeping track of home improvement projects their neighbors are working on – is the logical extension of the idea of localization and has similar potential for success in the marketplace.

For instance, if I lived on University Ave, a popular street in Palo Alto, I can use Civic Insight to pull up permit data from Accela Land Management and view this information in an intuitive, map interface. With Accela Civic Insight, I also can quickly see all activity in a specific local area and drill into specific addresses for more details:

b2ap3_thumbnail_palo-alto-university-ave.jpg

Searching on a street name shows all permit activity in the vicinity, with the option
of narrowing down your search to only include plan checks or inspections.

2. Measuring how long it will take to approve my permit or building project

By combining Civic Insight with the power of the Accela Civic Platform, we are creating a new level of transparency in government that is similar to what we see in everyday interactions with companies like Amazon or Uber.

Through our strategic partnership, Accela Civic Insight customers and citizens can now check on the progress of permit applications online, track the status and get fully automated updates:

b2ap3_thumbnail_palo-alto-more-detail-timeline.jpg

Just like tracking an order you placed with Amazon, you
can track a building permit through its entire lifecycle.

Additionally, I can now quickly see the number of permit applications submitted each day, so I can plan my next visit carefully. :)

b2ap3_thumbnail_palo-alto-busiest-days-per-week.jpg

A look at the busiest day of the week for the City of Palo Alto over a four-month period.

3. Measuring my city or department's performance

Integrating with Civic Insight is the next step in our mission to create “entrepreneurial governments.” City managers, mayors and CIOs can quickly determine how departments are performing and the level of business activity in their communities, and improve decision-making based on real-time data.

Government staff can also use it as a project optimization tool by drilling down into the details and identifying trends for example the number of days to plan approval by department or number of plan checks completed each month.

b2ap3_thumbnail_palo-alto-building-plan-checks-month.jpg

City staff can identify areas of success and opportunities for improvement.

Both individuals and city staff can use our analytics engine and visualization interface to understand how long it typically takes to get through the plan approval process in one city and compare the performance to another city. Providing this level of transparency shows your city’s dedication to setting up a business-friendly environment, and just might clinch their decision to setup shop in your community.

b2ap3_thumbnail_sacramento-chart.jpg

Everyone – entrepreneurs, citizens and city managers – can easily
research how long it takes to get plan approval in your community.

For more information, check out this blog post from Eddie Tejeda, the co-founder of Civic Insight.

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