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The data gold rush – connecting council wide data and mastering citizen insights


Industry voice: As the world continues to turn to digital, data from a spectrum of devices and tools is being stored and collected at an unprecedented rate. Councils across the UK are already sitting on this hugely valuable and available data, but legacy systems, disjointed data structures and a lack of internal data strategy skills is causing cessation between their data and the potential insights, writes Adam Gibbons, Local Government Lead, Civica Digital

Councils that have begun to champion these insights and harness multi-agency data access models with a single citizen view are in the ideal position.

With fully automated data insights and an immediate impact on performance, it’s difficult to underestimate the benefits to citizen outcomes across the board – from supporting vulnerable families sooner to isolating high risk areas for rent arrears and determining the most effective course of support.

In this data rich sector, a complete and reliable data strategy focussed on insight is now arguably one of the most significant advancements in digital transformation within the sector. So if connecting intelligence from data is such a golden opportunity, why is it still an obstacle for councils?

Data risks vs data rewards

Well, for most there is still the daunting task of managing data risk, asking the question, “How do you balance insight verses data privacy?”

As the saying goes, public trust is hard to win but very easy to lose. Citizens and regulators now expect organisations to manage data responsibly and with transparency. As a result, only the organisations which can visualise insights across services and demonstrate that they can be trusted with other people’s data will ultimately gain the advantage over those who can’t.

Is a data strategy really essential?

With digitalisation bringing to market new technologies like Blockchain, AI and machine learning, the opportunity to derive further efficiencies is already well underway. Unfortunately, until an effective data management strategy is adopted to underpin these technologies, harnessing predictive analytics, or adopting intelligent automation and the IoT will be limited to only business wishes. The bigger question is that without a robust data management strategy, not only are councils missing out on actionable data insight from today and meeting the demands of the citizen today, but at risk of falling behind the demands of tomorrow.

Putting the right foot forward with a connected data intelligence strategy can enable this fast access to business critical information and help build a complete picture of your citizens and performance.

How to act now?

Civica Digital have worked with councils across the UK to define their data strategy and start gaining insights across the organisation. Join our online Lunch & Learn on the 26th March, and discover how to make the step to insights driven by bridging the data gap. During this data masterclass you’ll leave with an understanding of how to connect intelligence between your agencies and internal technologies and better leverage more from your existing technology investments.

For more information and registration details, you can find out more here.

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