AddressIQ is a web application that helps city staff analyze 911 call data and collaborate in finding cost-effective ways to help addresses that have the most emergency calls.
Visual design, user experience, user research, communications
Fureigh, Dan Getelman
The City of Long Beach, The Molina Foundation
“This is really going to help give a much clearer picture of all the data in all our various systems so that we can be more efficient in trying to address some of these properties.”
— Tom Modica, Assistant City Manager, City of Long Beach, CA
"AddressIQ is one of the many ways the city is using technology to improve efficiency and communications. And what’s especially exciting about this app is that it actually has the potential to improve health outcomes and really get the most out of every dollar of our public safety budget."
— Mayor Robert Garcia, City of Long Beach, CA
In 2013, 52% of emergency medical calls in Long Beach, CA came from just 10% of the addresses.
In cities around the country, people and places that call 911 frequently have a major impact on emergency medical services. These calls are expensive, and can divert the response team’s attention from people who need immediate help the most.
In partnership with the City of Long Beach and the Molina Foundation, my Code for America Fellowship team developed AddressIQ. This tool was used to share data across previously siloed city departments, which allowed city staff to gain a more complete picture where residents in need were living. With this data, the City could ultimately help reduce unnecessary 911 calls and prevent costly, high intervention services.
We interviewed and observed people at every level of the health system, ranging from talking to patients in a clinic to two days of riding along with the city’s paramedics. We learned that a small percentage of the population disproportionately utilizes emergency services.
Each case has a number of complex causes, including homelessness, mental illness, chronic medical conditions, even social isolation. Helping just one person can have a major impact, both financially for the city and in the patient’s life.
The Design Process
The idea for AddressIQ came after doing our initial analysis on the City's 2013 fire and police 911 call data. The data confirmed our research from interviews, and we started noticing trends in where some of the 911 calls came from. Our city partners wanted an easier and more visual way to analyze this data more regularly, to help inform their decisions about how to allocate resources.
I interviewed potential users from the fire department, police department, health department, and code enforcement to learn about what aspects of the data were most important to them. After researching data dashboards to inform how I displayed different types of information, I began sketching and prototyping.
My teammates and I wanted AddressIQ to be more than pretty data on a website. We focused our research and design around learning how users would actually use the data to make decisions. One of the biggest opportunities was to help city staff in different departments coordinate with each other, so we built in a communication tool as part of the dashboard.
AddressIQ synthesizes and analyzes data from the fire department and the police department, cross-references addresses with business license data, and presents the data back to City Staff in an actionable way.
When a staff member logs in, AddressIQ shows them the highest-priority, highest-utilizing addresses first. These are the addresses where even a small change can make a huge impact. Staff can sort by the highest number of 911 calls, get context about those numbers, and filter by date range to see how the story has changed over time.
As a staff member explores an address, they can quickly see information about the call history and trends, displayed in a way to inspire them, help them understand what’s been happening at a particular location, and make it easier to take action. They can see the business type, which helps them know which approaches are relevant. They can also see the number of calls at a glance and drill down to get a better sense of the calls over time.
Communication and coordination are essential to the success of AddressIQ. As an example, if the data on that page reveals that there were a lot of falls at a senior center, people from different departments will suggest different actions to take. Code Enforcement might send someone to inspect the staircases for trip hazards, while the Health Department may organize fall prevention classes.
These staff members work in different departments and even different parts of town, but AddressIQ gives them a place to come together to start brainstorming solutions immediately and to coordinate their actions over time.