A Smarter Devon is exploring how we can make the most of our data, and ensure that our decision making is underpinned by facts and intelligence. It will ensure we have the necessary data, tools, skills and staff in place that Devon County Council requires. A Smarter Devon will enable us to define measures and collect evidence to demonstrate whether we are succeeding in meeting our purpose. It will enable us to pinpoint where and how we need to change.
Understanding ‘Data Pipelines’
Data are raw facts, processed to become information, and analysed to form intelligence. With intelligence we can identify what we might do that will impact the situation or trend. But what does it take to get intelligence from our data? We expect that it looks different for different products in different areas of the organisation, so we’re going to map out some examples of these processes to help demonstrate where we are now, what our best practice looks like and what might be ready for change.
Involving the whole organisation in the discussion
We have been talking to leadership teams within Devon County Council. As well as introducing everyone to the project, we’re discussing challenges and opportunities for working with data, getting good intelligence and using it to deliver services.
We’re really enjoying meeting with all of the data leads too, we’ve met more than 50 of you and we’re still going! It’s so important to us to have detailed discussions with those of you handling our data and creating our intelligence.
Networks and skills
We are using Microsoft Teams to keep our in-house network of staff from different departments linked, to provide a space to share ideas and knowledge. We have one for Power BI, another linked to the ICT Roadmap and a more general one for staff who develop and use Digital in their work. In the near future we’re hoping to run more specialised training for staff who work with data, information and intelligence to ensure we can get the most out of the tools we use, such as Power BI.
Improving our data
We are working with our colleagues across the organisation to decide on some standards and develop an ethics framework. We are also creating a new register that will make all of our data and information assets easy to access. We are also considering how to help our front line staff collect data more efficiently.
Doing what matters with data
We are working with teams to develop interactive dashboards that will offer better access to the data that will help them to make decisions.
Being able to analyse data in its geographical context (i.e. by seeing it on a map) can offer benefits and we are working on the best way to provide this.
Engaging with partner organisations
We are looking at ways to improve the way we share data with partners. The work on standards will be useful here, along with exciting new work in the Digital Transformation team on how we might use API technology. We are looking at the different ways we publish data on the web so that we can make sure it is easily accessible.