Pro Bono Partners

KPMG

Using analytics to help the Library meet patrons' needs

When I heard about a possible fellowship at Civic Consulting Alliance, I was intrigued to see if the data analytics background I had developed at KPMG would be a good fit. Fortunately, my fellowship presented an exciting opportunity to apply my data-driven problem-solving skills to the civic space.

My fellowship project was with the Chicago Public Library. The Library wanted to improve patrons' access to materials that needed to be delivered to their home branch from other branches in the Library system, a process that usually took more than a week.

For the last year, the Library had been testing different strategies to improve the delivery process of books and other materials, and wanted to know which strategies were most effective at reducing distribution delays. Working with a massive (17 million-record!) database, we untangled issues that seemed to cause delays and made recommendations for improvement.

Because of this analysis, the Library can now identify specific parts of the delivery process that need to be improved, allowing patrons to receive materials more quickly. In addition to increasing patron satisfaction and access to the Library's collection, our recommendations should reduce acquisition costs, as the Library can now stretch the usage of materials it already owns.

Thanks to this engagement, I have a broader perspective on how data are used to make business decisions, which I know will make me even more effective in my role at KPMG. Moreover, I have been so impressed with the humility Civic Consulting exhibits in its work; Civic Consulting Alliance consistently seeks results, not credit. I will carry this mentality with me throughout my career.

Thanks to this engagement, I have a broader perspective on how data are used to make business decisions, which I know will make me even more effective in my role at KPMG.

Bruce Dotten


KPMG