Who are Smarter Devon

 Three people standing

Who, what, where and when?

The Smarter Devon programme started in 2018 and is led by Sofie Francis. The programme helps Devon County Council to be an evidence-led authority, making intelligence-based decisions for the people of Devon.

The small team are based at County Hall, Exeter where we have practitioner’s building on the foundations with engineering and analysis skills, they help services work with data by building the data architecture needed here at Devon County Council.

We also take a good balanced approach when it comes to data and have strategists to help us understand the management, leadership and business skills needed to lead change and manage risks to unlocking insight for the organisation. They may also be known as data translators, helping to create intelligence for everybody to understand by ensuring we apply ethical principles, supporting data literacy which leads to our data maturity developing as a whole.

Advances we’ve seen in technology mean there are new opportunities to use data to improve our lives and that of those around us. Services enriched with reliable data can change the way that we all interact with government, and good quality, secure data allow us to demonstrate a trustworthy approach. Sharing better-quality data in a secure and sensitive way, can support our partners and our economy.

Smarter Devon’s vision

We will work together at Devon County Council to be an evidence-led authority, gathering accurate and timely data. We will turn robust information into intelligence for decision-making for the people of Devon.

This is allowing us to develop and fortify Devon County Council’s data and intelligence standards, and ensure that all decisions are both data-led and evidence-based.

“Alongside our people and our finances, our data is one of our most valuable assets. If we collect, look after it properly, and use it wisely, it has the potential to transform our services and make us truly responsive to our communities.

The Smarter Devon Programme and its partnership with the ICT Data and Intelligence Project has been working with teams across the council over the past two years to help us on our journey to becoming a data led and evidence-based organisation and it has made great progress.”

Phil Norrey, February 2022

Smarter Devon’s recommendations

  • Address data quality.
  • Data must feed into a central, accessible and secure store to be used for business intelligence purposes.
  • Procurements for services must include the provision of comprehensive service data.
  • Data and Intelligence need to be an equal requirement when undertaking process optimisation or business change.
  • Establish practices regarding data ethics.
  • Develop Devon County Council’s data and intelligence standards.
  • Develop strategic and management information into automated reports.
  • Ensure the use of core reference data sets.
  • Support all staff, and develop specialist analytical skills.
  • Maintain these recommendations, evaluate them and ensure we adhere to them.