Software Solved captured some of the highlights of the recent South West event in Exeter.  Click here to hear from council digital teams and industry experts about key digital challenges and opportunities, and for a taste of LGDC including gaming and a Mexican wave! There’s even some guy called Nick in a nifty check shirt trying to talk sense…

Thanks to Software Solved for pulling this together and sharing. Email info@softwaresolved.com if you want to connect with them and talk ‘software, data and fast-tracking local government digital transformation’.

Results of Local Gov Digital Camp Data Survey

Less than 15% of councils in the South West believe they are effective at using their own data, according to a survey of delegates at Local Gov Digital Camp South West.

And only 5% say it is easy to actually access their data in the first place!

The survey was carried out by data specialists Software Solved.

Every local authority representative surveyed agreed that real-time data visualisation is either very valuable (71%) or valuable (29%) to their organisation.

Across the 21 local authorities who took part:

  • 19% are using data visualisation
  • 38% are using some data reporting tools currently, but not getting the best results
  • 23% are investigating data visualisation tools
  • 19% don’t use data visualisation

The same survey was run nationally by Software Solved in 2018. The results suggest that councils in the South West are finding it harder to progress better use of data, with only 5% finding it easy to access their data, compared with 26% nationally.
The main barriers to better use of data in the South West mirrored the national findings, being:

  • Data stored in multiple disparate systems
  • Department silos prevent access
  • Complex data structures make it difficult to use data
  • Current reporting tools limited

Steve Lott, of Software Solved, said: “It’s clear that councils do recognise the opportunities now available with software packages that ‘sit on top’ of legacy systems, bypass blockages and link with open source data.

“At Software Solved we are certainly seeing how innovative councils are looking to harvest data across legacy systems, build data warehouse architecture, set up data visualisations and create interactive dashboards. That could be in providing economic data for local businesses, portals for citizens, interactive reports for elected members or performance insight for leadership teams.”

Software Solved has published a free guide for councils ‘Discover the Power Hidden in your Data’ that looks in more detail at the opportunities and challenges, highlighting best practice from the likes of Lancashire, Leicestershire and Camden councils.

Go to softwaresolved.com/localgovdata for your free copy.