Groningen Regional Police Force gains insight into citizen and employee satisfaction

Using IBM SPSS Data Collection to obtain feedback and analyse performance online

Published on 04-Feb-2011

Validated on 03 Jun 2013

"Our citizen satisfaction survey project won an innovation award from the MOA, the Dutch Centre for Marketing Intelligence and Research. But the best testament to our success is the fact that both the citizen and employee surveys are being adopted by other police forces around the country." - Johan Huizing, Project Manager Quality Research, Groningen Regional Police Force

Customer:
Groningen Regional Police Force

Industry:
Government

Deployment country:
Netherlands

Solution:
BA - Business Analytics, BA - Business Intelligence, Leveraging Information

IBM Business Partner:
DASC

Overview

Groningen, the north-easternmost province of the Netherlands, is home to more than 570,000 people. The Groningen Regional Police Force is responsible for a comprehensive range of police services in the region – from traffic management up to full-scale criminal investigations – and prides itself on its innovative approach to police work. It employs 1,800 people at 13 police stations in the city of Groningen and other municipalities across the province.

Business need:
The Groningen Regional Police Force needed to improve citizen satisfaction levels to meet the Dutch government’s new targets. However, its existing paper-based satisfaction surveys were expensive to run, could not be tailored to different groups of respondents, and often failed to provide a representative sample of the local population.

Solution:
The Force worked with DASC, an IBM Business Partner, to build a sophisticated online satisfaction survey using IBM SPSS Data Collection, which automatically tailors questionnaires to the respondent’s situation – whether they are an ordinary citizen, a suspect, an offender, or a victim. The Force also used IBM SPSS Data Collection to survey employee satisfaction and occupational health online. Both solutions are now being adopted nationwide.

Benefits:
Provides a more accurate and representative view of citizen satisfaction, helping to compare different areas and identify where improvement is needed. Enables analysis of employees’ health and mental wellbeing – potentially enabling the Force to identify warning signs of post-traumatic stress disorder and provide help. Eliminates paper questionnaires – reducing printing, postage, scanning and data validation costs.

Case Study

To read a Dutch version of this case study, please click here.

Groningen, the north-easternmost province of the Netherlands, is home to more than 570,000 people. The Groningen Regional Police Force is responsible for a comprehensive range of police services in the region – from traffic management up to full-scale criminal investigations – and prides itself on its innovative approach to police work. It employs 1,800 people at 13 police stations in the city of Groningen and other municipalities across the province.

Like all of the Netherlands’ 24 regional police forces, Groningen is required to achieve a variety of government targets. One of the targets is related to citizens’ satisfaction with the service they receive from the police.

Citizen satisfaction
“We were given a target of increasing our overall citizen satisfaction rating by seven percent,” explains Johan Huizing, Project Manager Quality Research for the Groningen Regional Police Force. “However, the way we were measuring satisfaction levels was not very precise, which made it difficult to identify the areas where we needed to improve.

“Every year the government conducts a national survey on safety and the police. In this survey, there were questions about the respondent’s contacts with the police in the past 12 months and their opinion of the most recent contact. This was regardless of the type of contact the respondent had with the police – for example whether it was face-to-face, by phone or by letter or email. More importantly, it didn’t take into account whether the respondent was an ordinary citizen requesting information or paying a parking ticket, a witness reporting a crime, a suspect, an offender, or a victim.”

“As a result, the answers we received were sometimes not very helpful. If you ask someone who has been arrested whether they are satisfied with the service they have received, they are not likely to give you a positive answer! But of course, that is no reflection of whether the police officers who arrested them did a good job or not.”

Reducing costs
The survey process was also slow and expensive: questionnaires were printed, posted to respondents, filled in, returned, and scanned into the Force’s IT systems. Data was then collected from the scanned images using image capture software, and the results were validated manually.

“We decided to completely rethink the whole process and build an online survey system which would give us more flexibility and eliminate most of the costs of the paper-based process,” says Huizing. “We secured some funding from the government to develop a solution that could be piloted in Groningen and potentially adopted by other regional police forces across the country.”

Finding a solution
The Force reviewed a number of possible software products, and decided to build the new solution on IBM SPSS Data Collection. To help with the implementation, it chose to work with DASC, a consultancy that specialises in data collection and analytics.

“IBM SPSS software is well-known in the Netherlands as a market-leader in statistical analysis, and SPSS Data Collection was already being used by many organisations across the country, so we were confident that it could meet our needs,” says Huizing. “The DASC consultants are real experts in SPSS, and they were good at listening to us and understanding our needs. They were very helpful with the functional design and implementation of the solution.”

First measure, then improve
With the solution in place, the survey process is now more streamlined and delivers much greater insight into citizens’ satisfaction with the Force. When citizens come into contact with the Force, they subsequently receive a letter asking them to complete an online questionnaire. The letter contains a code that is specific to the area they live in and to the type of contact they had with the police. When they log in to the survey portal and enter the code, it shows them the logo of their local police department, and displays a set of questions that are appropriate to their situation.

“The new process with IBM SPSS Data Collection is much more convenient, both for the citizens and for us,” explains Huizing. “It also allows us to analyse the data and create reports much more easily, and on a much more detailed level – so, for example, we can break down the overall results for Groningen by police station, or look at different satisfaction levels for people who have contacted us by phone as opposed to face-to-face meetings.

“This means we can compare the performance of different departments and different areas, and decide how best to allocate our resources to achieve improvements. As a result, we have been able to discover several critical points of improvement since the online survey was first introduced. Due to this success the IBM SPSS solution is now being adopted by other police forces across the country.”

Using predictive analytics to monitor occupational health
While the citizen satisfaction survey project was in process, the Force also began working on a survey to collect data on employee satisfaction and occupational health.

“Police work is tough, and it can take its toll both physically and mentally,” comments Huizing. “Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and burn-out affect a number of police officers every year, so we wanted to see if there was a way to predict their occurrence and provide help before the problems get too bad. So we used IBM SPSS Data Collection to create a questionnaire that would assess the mental and physical health of more than 40,000 police officers and other employees around the country on an annual basis.

“By correlating the data we obtained from the survey against the number of cases of burn-out diagnosed in the following year, we have been able to identify a number of ‘indicators’ – common factors that act as warning signs that an officer is at risk and should be given help.”

Conclusion
The introduction of IBM SPSS Data Collection software at Groningen Regional Police Force and other forces across the Netherlands has already delivered considerable benefits by providing a simple, convenient and precise method of collecting data from citizens and police officers, and analysing it quickly and effectively.

“The citizen satisfaction survey project won an innovation award from the MOA, the Dutch Centre for Marketing Intelligence and Research,” concludes Huizing. “But the best testament to our success is the fact that both the citizen and employee surveys are being adopted by other police forces around the country. As the solutions are adopted more widely and the amount of data we collect increases, we hope to be able to perform more sophisticated analyses that will help us improve police services in the Netherlands even further.”

About DASC
DASC is an IBM Business Partner based in the Netherlands, which specialises in analytical process management solutions. DASC managing partners have years of experience and a thorough knowledge of business intelligence, predictive analytics and enterprise feedback management. The company helps customers create innovative solutions based on IBM Business Analytics software.

About IBM Business Analytics
IBM Business Analytics solutions deliver world-leading enterprise planning, consolidation and BI software, support and services to help companies plan, understand and manage financial and operational performance. IBM Business Analytics solutions bring together technology, analytical applications, best practices, and a broad network of partners to give customers an open, adaptive and complete performance solution. Over 23,000 customers in more than 135 countries around the world choose IBM Business Analytics solutions.

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Software:
SPSS Data Collection Desktop, SPSS Data Collection Web Interviews, SPSS Data Collection Author, SPSS Data Collection Paper

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2011. IBM Nederland hoofdkantoor, Johan Huizingalaan 765, 1066 VH Amsterdam. Produced in the Netherlands. February 2011. All Rights Reserved. IBM, the IBM logo and ibm.com are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation, registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. A current list of other IBM trademarks is available on the Web at “Copyright and trademark information” at: ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml. IBM and DASC are separate companies and each is responsible for its own products. Neither IBM nor DASC makes any warranties, express or implied, concerning the other’s products. References in this publication to IBM products, programs or services do not imply that IBM intends to make these available in all countries in which IBM operates. Any reference to an IBM product, program or service is not intended to imply that only IBM’s product, program or service may be used. Any functionally equivalent product, program or service may be used instead. All customer examples cited represent how some customers have used IBM products and the results they may have achieved. Actual environmental costs and performance characteristics will vary depending on individual customer configurations and conditions. IBM hardware products are manufactured from new parts, or new and used parts. In some cases, the hardware product may not be new and may have been previously installed. Regardless, IBM warranty terms apply. This publication is for general guidance only. Photographs may show design models.