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Case Study: Local Government Council

How one of Australia’s busiest cities and LGAs implemented an online incident reporting platform for its network of more than 715 safety cameras monitoring key city precincts and events 24/7.

  • Every year, the city’s Safety Camera Network records an average of 8,500 separate incidents throughout its network of multiple entertainment precincts and urban villages.
  • Snapforms helped implement a digital solution that massively reduced admin time by replacing manual data entry in Excel with real-time data input from camera operators.
  • Snapforms’ Australian-based solution ensured the City complied with the Australian Privacy Principles, keeping their data and information safe and secure.

Every year, the Safety Camera Network of one of Australia’s busiest cities* records an average of 8,500 separate incidents throughout its network of multiple entertainment precincts, urban villages, and major event venues.

Monitoring the more than 700 permanent and mobile cameras 24 hours a day, seven days a week requires a dedicated team of licensed operators and a central control room to proactively observe images, detect incidents and notify police when necessary.

The Safety Camera Network’s Senior Operations Officer manages the day-to-day operations of the control room and the operators, partnerships with police, and event coordination.

What was the business challenge?

We do anywhere between eight to nine thousand incidents per year.

Before reaching out to Snapforms, Avi* and his team relied on paper forms, spreadsheets, and an arduous amount of manual data input for the round-the-clock operation’s reporting requirements.

“We do anywhere between eight to nine thousand incidents per year,” Avi explains.

“That’s up to 9,000 manual inputs into an Excel spreadsheet.

“Each incident was one paper form document and we have to have sufficient information within that document to provide a story of what occurred – date, time, place, what the incident was, whether it was a primary, secondary, tertiary, or major incident, who was involved, and what the outcome was.

“That was done all manually – there was a lot of admin time and it just wasn’t efficient.”

Avi set about sourcing a solution that could improve the process while offering real-time data input and reporting capability.

“And that’s where Snapforms came in to give a good online incident reporting platform.”

How was the solution implemented?

“It was a bigger project than we expected – but a very interesting project, we got there in the end and it’s working great,” Avi says.

“Our team is loving it – because during the development process I consulted everyone in my team.

“I brought them along as much as I could through the journey of design and implementation.

“It’s been received very well because they were included in the decisions, in the process, in everything from the beginning right through to the end.

“We all had input. Management put input into the design and the colours of the dashboard and how they wanted it to be presented.”

The security of our data is paramount.

“Snapforms’ response, communication, and understanding, especially with council processes, was great – it’s local government, it’s not as easy to navigate around as private industry – there’s a whole range of complexities that come with these types of projects.

“It’s been incorporated into our corporate network, through all the checks and balances of our IT teams, to make sure it’s compliant.”

Having all their data stored here in Australia on Australian-based servers was also a critical factor for Avi.

“We’re very careful in what we do and how we do it.

“Privacy is paramount for our information – the city, in general, is very pro-keeping everything local, keeping our data within the country – the security of our data is paramount because of the sensitivity of the information.”

There were immediate benefits

Avi says Snapforms has enhanced his team’s way of working, enabling them to be more time-efficient.

“It’s improved our processes and reduced our admin time considerably. It’s been a huge benefit.

“Our camera operators input the data there and then, during the live incident, and it goes straight into the Snapforms dashboard.

“It’s removed our need for an admin officer manually inputting into a spreadsheet. Basically, the need for a part-time position has been removed entirely, so that’s a huge cost-saving – we kept that person on and they’ve been able to do other more important duties and be utilised on other projects.”

We can get real-time statistics and information.

Each Snapform automatically shows or hides the categories relevant to that incident, making for a much cleaner data input process.

Rather than creating graphs and tables in Word Docs for presentations to executives and other government stakeholders, Avi’s team uses Snapforms’ embedded business intelligence tools with hundreds of visualisation and calculation options to build dashboards and reports that can be cut, filtered, and exported to PDF.

“We can get real-time statistics and information,” Avi explains, “whereas before we had to do it all through an Excel database – which was nothing short of a nightmare.

“With electronic forms, it’s so quick and in just a few clicks, a bit of text at the bottom – it just saves so much time.”

* Name of city and individual withheld or changed to maintain confidentiality in line with city policy

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