Using data to automate local Government services
In the year 2020, the average person created at least 1.7MB of data per second. By 2025, it’s predicted that, every day, 463 exabytes of data will be generated globally. In a world where almost every action is captured by smartphone sensors, movements are recorded by wearable devices and our health parameters are analysed and stored, it’s clear that data is incredibly valuable.
With every enterprise now generating high volumes of data every second, data growth has doubled at a rate of 42.2% per year and is expected to continue increasing. Monetising data has become a new way to leverage that value, effectively making it a new currency. Though it’s difficult to attach a specific value to the data, as it depends on its usability, a recent study in the US found that user-generated data per person could be worth around $1.35 a month. While another study by the European Commission estimates that the European citizen’s data is worth around €1,500 per year.
Imagine the exabytes of data being generated in a smart city, as a provider of over a thousand unique services for people and places. Local government authorities could collect a vast amount of business and transactional data as part of their day-to-day operations and have endless data leveraging opportunities to deliver better services to citizens.
Data Storage and Management
American automotive company Tesla utilises a stream of data collected from its vehicles to crowdsource advanced technology features like high precision maps, improve the autopilot and encourage customer engagement. In essence, every Tesla is a mobile data mine. Tesla’s production process uses the smart factory concept, and its operational sensors are always collecting data.
This method of data collection can be adopted by local governments to create new services, improve service delivery, ensure quality, and facilitate personalisation. There are many benefits of the data-driven approach, as it can assist councils to save money, encourage efficiency, improve productivity and quality, and deliver more effective services.
Privacy and Data Governance
Data privacy needs to be considered when dealing with commercial organisations with highly sensitive data. Government organisations will need to ensure the protocols of effective data governance are diligently followed. The pandemic brought more challenges to the citizen service ecosystem than ever before, amplifying the expectations of service levels, and exposing the gaps in the technology and infrastructure designed to support it. The last two years have further highlighted the importance of digital transformation and encouraged even the least technology-savvy citizens to engage with the digital services provided.
Local Government Digital Transformation
The councils that started their digital transformation journey pre-Covid benefited immensely. One of my clients, the London Borough of Ealing, adopted Microsoft Dynamics 365, a Customer Relationship Management platform to automate and digitalise more than 140 manual processes, enabling seamless and secure data flows from one council service to another.
Using this platform, Ealing Council was able to synthesise and analyse the data to inform their processes. Adopting this data-driven approach has allowed Ealing Council to provide a superior service to its residents. For local authorities across the UK, the opportunity to digitise services and harness the power of their data has never been greater.