Information Builders’ UK MD has called for the Government to expand its view of the kind of services it should be offering people online. Speaking at the eGovernment conference in London last week, Jim Irving said that although the government’s plans to get its services online by 2005 were well underway, it needed to go beyond merely offering services like drivers licence and passport applications over the Net.
“I can pay for my council tax online,” he said “And I can complain if my bins are not empty. But what I would also like is an analysis of recent crime activity. Not just by county, but right down to street or even post code level.”
Unsurprisingly, this is exactly the kind of information processing and analysis that Irving’s company offers, and although raising this issue may be a little self serving, Irving has an example of what he means: In New York, Information Builders has built a portal for the Department of Health that allows the public to access the results of recent health and safety inspections for over 19,000 restaurants in the city’s five boroughs. According to Irving, this access has improved public confidence in the DOH.
He argues that providing this kind of information to the public is crucial to the success of eGovernment. “Corporate organisations have used business intelligence systems for many years to analyse trends, report on exceptions, embrace corporate performance management, customer relationship management, targeted marketing and business activity monitoring,” he said. “This has led to improved efficiency, competitiveness and provided more timely information upon which to make decisions. Ultimately this needs to be the next phase for online government services in the UK.” ®