ZenCity: Focusing on the User

Helping a a groundbreaking data science company understand 'where to play' and 'how to win'

ZenCity uses AI and machine learning to turn civic data into actionable insights. With its rapid integration and data sourcing capabilities, it’s supported by a dedicated team of analysts who provide personalized solutions.

Joining ZenCity

Attracted by the potential of using civic data to drive municipal decisions, I joined ZenCity. My experience as the Chief Data Officer of LA allowed me to contribute to this mission uniquely. Our research highlighted that real-time data sources weren’t always useful for managers with fixed policies. This led us to shift our focus towards Public Information Officers (PIOs), elected officials, and senior management - individuals keen on understanding daily public sentiment.

Pivoting for the User

We redesigned ZenCity with a user-first strategy, placing PIOs at the heart of our platform. Then, we reshaped the product to focus on issues rather than departments, making it more relevant for decision-makers.

ZenCity Growth

Since 2017, my strategic engagement with ZenCity has evolved into a partnership. My role has guided their U.S. expansion and product/market fit. Today, ZenCity partners with over 100 local governments and has expanded its offerings by acquiring Elucd, a company focused on citizen sentiment in government technology.

The Future of ZenCity

I am pleased to continue engaging with ZenCity’s leadership on product innovations surrounding AI and LLMs. The team’s ZenCity 360 platform is already incorporating advanced AI functionality, such as ChatGPT, to automatically generate press releases, social media posts, and more. As we look forward, the fusion of AI and LLMs in ZenCity’s offerings promises to revolutionize how local governments interact with and understand their citizens.

ZenCity’s journey underscores the importance of user-focused product development and the power of AI in creating effective “smart city” solutions.