Oour post today talk about the important issue of The Power of Data for Local Government. Harnessing the power of data analytics to drive better services from local government is both well-established and obvious, and a recent survey of council chief executives revealed a third using data analytics to inform decision-making and strategy. That means that two thirds are not, and this is something that must change.

The current financial situation for the sector remains very challenging with the funding gap estimated to reach £5.8bn by 2020. It is very clear that data needs to go further and it needs to be smarter if data analytics infrastructure is to deliver better and more tailored services.

Ultimately, smart policy implementation relies on evidence-based decision-making. Data is growing exponentially and its role in guiding decisions, by providing a firm idea of the impact or effects of particular decisions on services, is really only limited by the data that is available.

Be it consumer segmentation, information describing demographic, lifestyle and behavioural characteristics, or disposable income data – which is becoming increasingly sophisticated – data helps to gain a much better understanding of the facts on the ground.

The more detailed the data, the clearer the picture of the impact of particular policies or investments. As a result, consumer segmentation can shape our knowledge of who will be interested in particular services, while disposable income data can explain whether residents can supplement these services financially.

While councils are routinely solving varied challenges through data analytics, we know that the better the available data, the more tools analytics teams have to work with. In the case of differential services, for example, far greater detail and depth of understanding of consumer demographics, behaviours and disposable incomes are required.

A trend linked to differential services is the need for authorities to ‘condense’ services. Coventry City Council’s work in this area required analytics teams to understand how different services can be configured together to, for example, reduce risks in child health or protection services – using consumer segmentation and disposable income data.

Data usage is a must for every area of local government, so those not already using it need to catch up fast.

To find out more about The Power of Data for Local Government and what makes Human2Human Consulting different, please click here or email us and let’s chat. We know how to use data so if you aren’t so sure, then let us help.