The third cohort of the Academy for Municipal Innovation kicked off in October 2015. This is a blog series written by participants about their experiences in the program. Today’s author is Joseph Gruber, Lead GIS Analyst, Department of Licenses & Inspections.
The first four weeks of AMI taught us to ideate through design thinking, to analyze with systems thinking, to better understand situations through research methods, and to communicate by storytelling. Our fifth session, “Developing Value Propositions” introduced us to a framework of business analytics, incorporating the topics covered in previous lectures. My main takeaway from this session was the concept of “value propositions,” or getting to the “why” of a product or service.
A value proposition is the job performed by a product or service that alleviates pain and creates gain for a customer or user. Every product or service has a value proposition; it is the reason why the product exists. The original value proposition of the ipod was “carry 1000 songs in your pocket,” at a time when everyone was using compact discs.
One concept to helps us understand the “why” within a value proposition is to pose the statement: “Our users need a better way to do _______ BECAUSE of _______.” Let’s apply this concept to a new technology introduced to City employees through the Office of Innovation and Technology’s GIS Services Group.
Cyclomedia Globespotter is a web application and ArcGIS add-in that provides street-level imagery with the capability to measure and analyze data within the imagery. Orthophotography (top-down) imagery, dating to the early 2000s, has long been available but “street-level imagery” has not been available internally to City employees.
Using the value proposition statement: “City employees have needed a better way to view street-level imagery because of (x).”
Here’s an example of Globespotter’s value proposition for Licenses and Inspections (the department I work for): “time and money could be saved by viewing and measuring building conditions before heading out in the field.” This value proposition makes it clear “why” street-level imagery is valuable to City employees.