Insight & business intelligence — what’s in it for us?

I’ve written about how we can use different types of data in the pandemic world we live in to tackle the virus, anticipate emerging trends and test ways to rebuild our economies and communities. Although we have a strong track record of genuinely trying to understand what matters to people and developing skills for citizen scientists to better help us understand the impacts of the pandemic or of prosperity in an area going through significant regeneration, we need to be better at using thick and big data and thinking beyond needs to patterns to develop cases for why change is needed.

1. What do we want insight to help us achieve?

Use its strategic advantage in terms of information to influence outcomes — from influencing demand to shaping markets

Help the council, communities & providers use intelligence more effectively to understand and shape the environment around them

2. How can it help our different stakeholders?

  • To understand how decisions are made on the services they use and how they perform

More informed staff

  • To understand needs and demand to commission more informed outcomes and improve the marketplace

More informed councillors

  • To better understand needs & assets to engage their communities

More informed providers & businesses

  • To understand the market/s and customers they’re supporting to better target their offer to commissioners

More informed communities

  • To understand local needs & assets to build stronger communities & better influence decisions in their area

3. We need to focus our limited resource and investment on those activities that add the most value

As councils move to having to focus their resources much more on a more targeted set of priorities and needs, they should provide self-service resources & tools to help services use data & insights to meet their own needs.

However, there will be a need for specialist expertise required to produce the analysis to work out how councils can manage demand on our services and increasing the opportunities for growth, in particular, better understanding :

  • Behaviours of residents to influence them to use online services & take greater responsibility
  • Demand on our services to help identify where & how we can manage and reduce demand
  • Needs of our residents to better target our investment for those who most need our support
  • Factors that put our residents at risk to help prevent issues from escalating & intervene early
  • Drivers for economic growth to help exploit the opportunities from these and shape growth
  • Changes taking place in the borough to better mitigate risks and plan for the future

How could councils work with partners to better use insight?

Public service partners (NHS, Police, GLA)

  • Insight on shared user demands & demand profiles
  • Trusted information sharing agreement
  • Develop & share intelligence models (such as NHS combined predictive model), resources (i.e. GLA DataStore) and research/data collaboratives on specific issues (as used in health or Alliance for Useful Evidence)

Community Organisations and VCS

  • Insight on local community needs, assets & motivations
  • Trusted connections with local community ecosystem

Infrastructure & Utility Providers

  • Invest in resources that understand local demand in a more real-time way and understand capabilities by community organisations to deliver preventative activities
  • Real time / big data on use of physical (i.e. parking) & digital infrastructure (i.e. wifi) & environment (sensors & mobile traffic)
  • Robust data collection & reporting tools and investment in continuous improvement
  • Enable local businesses & communities to use data to develop new business opportunities and hold council to account

Service Providers

  • Data on use of their services
  • Robust data collection & reporting tools and investment in continuous improvement
  • Combine use of intelligence to develop multi-sided platforms and generate additional social value

Data & Analytics Providers

  • Data on attitudes & behaviours and use of non-public services
  • Robust intelligence models and regularly updated intelligence
  • Combine use of intelligence to develop a better understanding of customers

Head of Policy & Research @newhamlondon #localgov Co-founder of #systemschange & #servicedesign progs. inspired by @cescaalbanese