Meet WyCo's New Chief Knowledge Officer

Mark Holland Banner

Harnessing Data to Create a Smarter Government

My focus as Mayor is on these three priorities: Economic Development, Innovation, and Healthy Communities. We took a major step toward promoting greater innovation this week when our new Chief Knowledge Officer arrived at the Unified Government. So please join me in welcoming Alan Howze to the UG as our first Chief Knowledge Officer!

I had the pleasure of meeting Alan Tuesday, his second day on the job, and am excited to have a person of his experience and background leading our efforts to become an innovative, data-driven, and smart government. Alan comes to us from Virginia with his wife Pam and three young children. Before joining the UG he was part of IBM’s Public Sector group, where he worked directly with local, state and federal governments to improve operational efficiency and promote effective government management. He also served Virginia Governor Mark Warner as a senior advisor in charge of leadership and strategy development.

In other words, Alan brings to the UG the skills and experience we need to create a smarter government by collecting and using data and information in the best way we can. Our new CKO will oversee our IT Department, 311 service center, and mapping group.

Mayor Holland and CKO HowzeThe position is a significant step toward realizing our vision of using data to improve customer service, create greater efficiencies, improve employee satisfaction, and, eventually, pass on savings to tax-payers. Our CKO will work across departments to implement an open data plan that makes meaningful data available to the public and that helps our residents, businesses, and nonprofit organizations address the challenges our community faces.

Alan comes to the UG at a time when we have already begun using data to create greater efficiencies and improve services. Consider another exciting piece of news: just recently the UG launched its 311 online portal, allowing residents to submit service requests through the UG website and receive quicker responses. Residents may still call the 311 line, but now they have the opportunity to submit requests 24/7 through 311.wycokck.org. Last month we also introduced an online queue to shorten waits at the DMV.

Our efforts to drive innovation have received national attention. Two months ago, for example, we received news that KCK had been selected as one of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ “What Works Cities,” a designation that will help us expand our use of data to tackle challenging problems like blight.

I’m convinced that these efforts and opportunities just scratch the surface of what the UG can do with data and information. I’m also convinced that our new Chief Knowledge Officer will help us dig deeper into what that data and information can do to create a stronger, safer and healthier community.

So as I said, let’s welcome Alan to the Dotte!