When Eyal and I started Zencity five years ago, we set out to create a product that would facilitate a city-scale understanding of public opinion and sentiment by collecting and analyzing openly available data streams, such as social media and news. We wanted to enable local government leaders to effortlessly incorporate public opinion into their decision-making, thereby increasing community trust in their policies and actions.
A new kind of community engagement solution
Elucd’s core technology, now integrated into the Zencity platform, allows for the same city-scale understanding of public opinion. It does this through continuous, lightweight polling of residents across the multiple digital platforms they’re already using, capturing a representative sample of community input by reaching members where they are. This input allows decision-makers to understand how people of different ethnicities, genders, ages, incomes, and languages – from all districts and neighborhoods – feel about their city or county, as well as gives civic leaders a sense of how their community members’ needs and attitudes change over time.
The combination of Zencity’s core, AI-powered analysis and Elucd’s representative and statistically valid polling, brings us into one of the most significant chapters in Zencity’s history. We are combining the two technologies together to offer an unprecedented opportunity for engaging your community: the nextgen community survey.
Nextgen community surveys
Our revolutionary nextgen community surveys will combine “always-on,” recurring resident polling with Zencity’s layer of social conversation analysis; together, this enables civic leaders to finally be able to see changes in public opinion alongside the context and reasoning behind those trends. This unique solution will allow local governments to power their planning and decision-making with the most comprehensive resident engagement data available.
Here’s what sets Zencity’s solution apart:
- Continuous polling vs. periodic polling: Instead of a traditional community survey that runs for a limited period of time, the data will flow year round, so when there’s a change in resident attitudes, it will be noticeable and addressable in a timely manner.
- Combining organic conversations and proactive engagement via surveys vs. only running a survey: Piecing together how residents rate their jurisdiction and its services, and why they might be responding the way they are, requires more than just surveys. Combining surveys that provide statistically significant, quantifiable evidence and organic conversations which may explain sentiment leading to the quantifiable trend (e.g. conversations about public safety or lack thereof may be an indicator of why safety scores are low in a city), is invaluable.
- High resolution input vs. low resolution: Data collected represents the community-at-large, including hard to reach groups, and can be broken down by ethnicity, gender, age, income, language, and district or neighborhood, ensuring that local leaders are hearing from all corners of their community and receiving feedback that is representative and inclusive.
- Open-ended question analysis vs. fixed-response questions only: Zencity has a unique, AI-powered ability to analyze natural language, so we can quickly find patterns in a high velocity of unstructured data; namely, answers to open-ended questions. This allows us to include open-ended questions on any topic in our surveys and to provide real-time analysis of patterns and topics that are being raised by residents, providing yet another dimension to understanding resident opinions.
- Benchmark and ad-hoc questions vs. mostly benchmark questions: Most community surveys put an emphasis on year-over-year benchmarks. While this is important, 2020 has highlighted how dynamic reality can be, which is why our tool will enable both a continuous benchmark and addition of ad-hoc questions about current events and initiatives. We think it’s equally important to measure performance quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year, but also to gain insight into opinions on current local government undertakings (e.g. revamping the city center, passing GO bonds, COVID and vaccine related policies, federal relief funding allocations, major legislation, and more).
We are super excited about this new community survey product and view it as a definitive step towards realizing our greater vision of equipping government organizations of all kinds – cities, counties, police departments, state agencies, and more – with the essential technology they need to make decisions with quality resident engagement data in hand. We eagerly anticipate watching local and state governments adopt this groundbreaking solution and use it to impact the lives of residents everywhere.
Interested in hearing more about this new solution? Schedule a call with us!