Shining a light on dark data

By Dr Shaibal Roy and Claire Tew | 26 September 2018

Dr Shaibal Roy and Claire Tew explain how local government can reap previously untapped benefits from dark data analytics

Austerity has forced authorities to prioritise the services they offer and to target the groups who can benefit most from the allocation of diminishing resources. All that has to be done alongside reducing overall demand and signposting where self-service options and third party support can be used before a council has to intervene. To do this effectively and to make the right strategic and evidence-based decisions requires information and insights.

Councils have an advantage in that they already hold vast amounts of information on their local population, the local area and the services available. The trouble is that while this information is often easily accessible it is hardly ever used for anything other than the original purpose, usually routine reporting. Yet reusing the data and looking at it in a different way can generate new insights that can drive real improvements.

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