Data transformation clicks into place at Camden Council

Toni Sekinah, research analyst and features editor, DataIQ

Camden Council, a London local authority, has been in partnership with data analytics company Qlik since 2012 in an effort to overhaul public services as part of a five-year digital transformation plan. The council has generated £63 million in savings between 2014 and 2017 as a result of driving cost savings and increasing efficiencies.

During the initial deployment and implementation of Qlik, the council incorporated datasets gathered from different service points to get an all-round view of its operations and service users' needs. This meant the council could use data to drive its operational and commercial decisions, while increasing accountabilty and transparency.

With staff now having easy access to data, they can spend less time on processing queries and more time on delivering solutions to service users. Camden Council has seen a 45% saving in working hours in some areas. One way through which time is being saved is the use of open datasets to respond to freedom of information requests.

Camden shopfrontsBy comparing datasets across service areas, patterns emerged and council employees were able to identify problems and quickly address them. One area where this takes place is housing repairs where dashboards are used to manage operational services. Another area is the planning of school places as the school-aged population of the borough increases. Parking management, adult social care, benefit provision and council tax administration are all areas that have benefitted from greater streamlining of infomation.

Sean Price, EMEA solutions director for the public sector at Qlik, told DataIQ: “Camden is a very creative organisation, that's absolutely vital. Camden have looked at that challenge around where budgets are stretched. They had to do something different and the Camden leadership really wanted to make the most of their data, it so has pulled datasets together.”

"This is a great example of the transformative impact data analytics can have."

Price added: “The success of our work with Camden Council is a great example of the transformative impact data analytics can have in the public sector.”

Sudip Trivedi, head of data and analytics and connectivity, business partner at the London Borough of Camden, said: “In a wider sense, our transition to a data-centric organisation has been so successful that we no  longer differentiate between our digital and operational strategies.”

"Our ongoing focus is applyiing better data quality."

He went on to say: “Our ongoing focus is now on a building block approach to generating and applying better data quality. We believe that the successes we’ve had in Camden through data integration and sharing with other boroughs should become the template for a wider approach.”