What Is 311?
“311 is a non-emergency phone system that municipal and county government operate as a public information line for residents to find information, make complaints, or report code violations.
October 8, 2021 – Cities are made up of people. People are what make cities thrive and systems that listen to the concerns of people that live in cities will always be a need. This is a core part of 311 which is a non-emergency phone system that listens to the needs of residents in cities then uses that data to improve services and operations. It was first adopted as a system in 1996 by the City of Baltimore and is a ubiquitous system that is used across cities in the US, Canada, and in various parts of the world.
What’s 311 used for?
Citizens can report issues, make complaints, and find information using 311.
Governments can use that data to run better operations on behalf of citizens.
311 acts as a customer service line for cities interacting with residents. The number 311 stands for a non-emergency phone number. Originally it was used as a customer line where people got information, reported problems, or made complaints with a call center staff who would work 7-days a week.
The advance of technology used by people has made 311 easier to access through various channels including phone calls, text messages, online forms, and through mobile applications. It’s also resulted in a massive amount of data collected that can act as a guide for cities to offer better services and run operations in optimized ways.
Open311 and widespread adoption of standards
The federal Chief Information Officer in 2010 launched the technical standard for civic issue tracking also known as Open 311. With this standard it encouraged the exchange of data between machines and humans in a shared language. The first use case was an API in Washington, DC’s 311 system that took hold of a community when leadership of various organizations came together to collaborate.
On top of this standard services were built that were delivered through web, mobile, and customer relationship management systems to improve the delivery of the service. This led to outcomes such as reduced call center loads while making it cheaper and efficiently to create better service request documentation. This helped transform call centers which soon had massive volumes of data. This data creates new opportunities for innovation in data-driven decision making.
Upgrading 311 systems using DataGovs
Across governments the pandemic has increased the adoption of cloud-first systems and 11-years later we have a large need for upgrading 311 using standards like Open 311. Movements like the shared economy have created a new normal for people in cities that require tools that can accommodate these needs. That is why DataGovs released its 311 tool for service operators (311.so).
It solves some of the biggest problems we see today:
Back-end Systems: Our API can integrate with Open311 systems to prioritize data then leverage machine learning to prioritize issues based on photos.
Front-end Systems: Our Mobile App can support cities without a front-facing 311 service to take public requests and leverage internal monitoring to provide better 311 service experiences to residents.
Data Processing: Our API and App leverages machine learning to help improve prioritizing requests and automates steps to provide better service delivery with or without a Data Scientist present.
Data Reporting: Our services specializes in taking existing reporting tools like PowerBI, Tableau, and more to visualize data based on set requirements. We can measure safety, efficiency, and sustainability for customers monitoring fleet-based operations.