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Grade.DC.gov Pilot Program Expanded by Five Agencies; Fourth Set of Grades Released

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Grade.DC.gov Pilot Program Expanded by Five Agencies; Fourth Set of Grades Released

Customer-Service Initiative Doubles Participating Agencies

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Mayor Vincent C. Gray has released the fourth set of monthly grades and doubled the amount of participating agencies for the pilot Grade.DC.gov program, an advanced customer-service platform designed to provide the best possible feedback on, and analysis of, service delivery and customer care by District government agencies.

The new agencies in the program are the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), Fire and Emergency Medical Services (FEMS), the Office of Unified Communications (OUC – 911/311), the DC Public Library (DCPL) and the DC Office on Aging (DCOA).

These agencies were added based on public feedback and an internal analysis of other DC government agencies that are the most public-facing. Though originally scheduled to grow by 10 agencies this fall, five were chosen as part of the pilot’s second phase to ensure that feedback received is given the maximum attention by the government. Five new agencies will be added in 2013.

The September grades for the original five pilot program agencies range from a “B-minus” to a “B-plus”:

Pilot Agency  June July  August September
DCRA   C- B    B+     B-
DPW    C+ B    B+     B-
DDOT   C-   B-    A-     B+
DPR   C-   C+     B+     B
DMV   C-   C-    B-     B-

The platform is powered by newBrandAnalytics (nBA), a leading provider of social-market-intelligence solutions in the private sector, and is the company’s first venture into government services. The new Web interface enables agency leaders to gather and interpret real-time, continuous feedback from constituents and use it to make data-driven decisions that will improve agency operations as quickly as possible. Using a proprietary algorithm, nBA converts feedback about each agency into a score, which, in turn, is converted into a letter grade. The grading rubric is the same scale that nBA uses for its private-sector clients in the restaurant and hotel industries.

Independent analyses have shown the District’s customer-service levels improving significantly in recent years. Residents have enjoyed increasing access to online systems for payments, license and permit applications, and public information. Grade.DC.gov complements the District’s existing customer-service-survey tools by providing additional platforms not only for soliciting information, but also for proactively aggregating and analyzing feedback residents are already providing on platforms like Facebook, Twitter and review websites.

Grade.DC.gov also enables residents to provide their on-demand comments and opinions via text, tweet or Facebook post as well as via the initiative’s namesake Web portal. After harvesting the online sentiment, newBrandAnalytics will interpret and analyze qualitative feedback in order to:

• Provide an overall agency grade and specific customer-service-related themes;
• Identify the root causes of customer satisfaction or dissatisfaction; and

• Guide decision makers to allocate limited taxpayer resources to address
   the most burning issues cited by constituents.