Halve your data capture costs by using intelligent forms

By Arthur Lagos*

The challenge facing all Local Governments is to provide more services to their ratepayers at lower costs. All Councils need data from their residents and ratepayers – to assess applications for building approvals, all manner of licenses, check compliance, develop policy and make decisions.

Typically this data is collected via forms. But what kind of form? Paper? Online? What about clients who prefer to use the phone or fax?

Someone will need to design the form, and send it out, and receive it when it is complete, and check it and enter it into the computer system.

What about privacy and security?

Collecting quality data securely and efficiently requires answers to all these questions, and more. For many Councils, designing forms and business processes for data collection is not core business. The need to collect data may be intermittent or periodic, such as for specific projects or surveys.

Staff are likely to be experts in their own fields and be focused on business outcomes. However, they will not necessarily be knowledgeable in designing forms and the business processes for dealing with them efficiently and effectively, nor skilled data entry operators.

IT support may be limited and unable to offer new or specialised technologies or support multiple IT platforms. In these circumstances, setting up and running an in house data capture process can be a costly and complex.

In many cases, the effort in obtaining the data overshadows the real business of interpreting it to make effective decisions.

iContact is a specialist provider of intelligent forms solutions that enable all spheres of government to efficiently and cost effectively capture data from their clients.

iContact Intelligent Forms suite of products includes a web compatible online form that can be saved to the user’s PC for multiple sessions or sharing before return, as well as a paper form for applications requiring ‘wet ink’ signature, which is imaged. Innovative 2D barcoding can include customer ID for ready record matching.

iContact provides:

  • initial information and business process design
  • automated data extraction and built-in validation to minimise errors and delays
  • printing, distribution and fulfilment of orders for paper forms
  • full mail room functions
  • effective data capture for all form types and platforms – online, paper, fax, automated voice – using skilled operators and specialised equipment (scanners, fax server, IVR)
  • integration of data from different form types and platforms for seamless processing
  • delivery of quality data in any format – to your network or application interface, or on disk
  • delivery of evidentiary quality document images, with paper documents already archived
  • web site/forms hosting.

iContact makes it simple. iContact’s flexible services range from consulting on the initial forms design through to fully managed services.

Alternatively, iContact’s Intelligent Forms suite of products, including Intelligent Forms Designer to design and produce web compatible forms yourself, is available for direct purchase, as a subscription service.

* Arthur Lagos in a Director of iContact Australia Pty Ltd, call him directly on (02) 6271 0111 or email alagos@icontact.com.au or visit www.icontact.com.au