Adur and Worthing Councils are creating a set of data registers to support operational services and looking to build a canonical list of local services for digital applications.
Paul Brewer, director for digital and resource for the two councils, has outlined the initiative in a blogpost that says they have made significant progress in some areas and have bid for money from the Local Digital Fund to support the work.
It indicates progress for a plan he spoke of earlier in the year while in discussions with the data team at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), the department administering the fund.
The blog says the councils, which have a joint management structure, have created a register of assets in their housing stock on their open standards platform and are making it available to a growing number of digital services. In turn, these provide data to help maintain the register in real time.
Employees are both using data from the register and updating it through their apps for operations such as housing repairs and estates, with the register sitting separately from the apps.
A similar initiative is under way for commercial properties and there are plans for registers for the councils’ vehicle fleets, IT equipment and sensors.
Brewer says that other digital applications will be able to access the information through secure APIs in the future, which should provide scope for innovations from digital companies.
Adur and Worthing are also pitching for a share of the Local Digital Fund to explore the potential of a canonical data register of local services that could be used in a range of digital applications. They plan to work on this with several partner councils and the Open Data Institute.
“Creating consolidated, canonical data registers is a really vital strategic play, and it’s crucial that these are conceived of as separate to the digital apps that help maintain them,” Brewer says in the blog.
“These open data registers will help drive trustworthy analysis and a new culture of evidence based decision making. They will also help enable ecosystems of applications to flourish around them, particularly if data standards are agreed nationally through MHCLG Local Digital Fund projects.”