Better service with the help of data

Municipality of Utrecht

  • Customer case
  • Data Analytics
cycling through utrecht
Gemeente Utrecht logo
Erik van der Kooij
Commercial Manager
3 min
30 Jun 2020

The Municipality of Utrecht collects a lot of data from contact moments with citizens. This includes anonymous visitor behaviour on the website and online applications, but also phone calls to the Customer Contact Center, messages via webcare and physical appointments at the municipal desk.

This data can help the municipality with policy making and solving problems. Employees of the Municipality of Utrecht facilitate other departments through the Public Service (PDV) programme, among other things, with communication expressions and insights from data.

The municipality asked us to help them safeguard and improve the continuity of their data processes.

Our approach

All questions from the various departments about the data that is collected offline and online about citizens are collected in a central mailbox. Based on the incoming requests, we make an inventory of the information needs. For issues that relate to a longer period, we will build a dashboard with which the department or employee can process information themselves.

Knowledge transfer to the internal organisation is a spearhead in this: we train people ourselves to work with the data visualisation tool Tableau. We teach them the basics of the tool, we explain how they should interpret the data and we give them tips on how to make small adjustments themselves. In this way, policy makers, team leaders and other employees work with the data themselves. They can always contact us for more in-depth questions.

In order to provide the internal organisation with the best possible service, we are in frequent contact with the Data Provision department. Together with the Data Architects, we look at how we can make the data warehouse more complete in order to be able to make better integrated analyses.

We also carry out various projects with them. Think of the rollout of Tableau Server, which makes sharing and using dashboards much more accessible for the organisation.

In addition, we work together with other departments on data-driven process improvements. For example, we improved the data quality of the Customer Contact Center by registering the data of telephone calls and webcare messages more efficiently. As a result, more value is now extracted from the data.

The result

More and more departments within the municipality are using service data facilitated by Public Services. Three examples:

Planning of the waste collection service

The City Businesses department uses data from citizens' reports. When waste has not been collected or there is a lot of waste next to the container, they check whether the collection service has followed the correct route. Based on insights from the data, they make adjustments to the route or organise the route schedule more efficiently.

Improved road safety

The Traffic Department, in turn, uses reports from residents about unsafe traffic situations as input to evaluate traffic situations and thus make the municipality safer.

Services in corona times

People often call with questions such as: 'How are swimming lessons organised now?' and 'How can my child take lessons at home without a laptop?' Based on analyses of telephone calls, webcare messages and website behavior, we can paint a good picture of what is happening within the Municipality of Utrecht.

In addition, the data provides insight into what the municipality can expect in terms of activities and information needs. For example, due to corona, considerably more financial support is requested by independent entrepreneurs. This means that other departments, such as Work and Income, can also expect more work. This can then be acted upon immediately by setting up the right processes.

In addition, the people who have applied for this support will want to know what the next steps are and when they can expect their support. The website information is adapted to this to relieve the pressure on the Customer Contact Center.


Together with Data Provision, we are continuously working on making the data warehouse more complete with multiple data sources. The municipality is also switching to Tableau Server. This allows us to publish dashboards online, so that they can be shared and used widely by the municipality. In addition to continuing to train and educate employees in the use of Tableau, this will further stimulate data-driven working within the municipality.

Data-driven working is becoming increasingly important within the Municipality of Utrecht. The municipality is therefore considering hiring more permanent Data Analysts in the future. We will continue thinking about the role of Data Analyst within the municipality. In this way we can help realise the full potential of this role.

Also working in a data-driven way? In our free e-book 'From data to doing in the public sector', we explain how to use your data effectively.

Want to know more?

Erik will be happy to talk to you about what we can do for you and your organisation as a data partner.

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