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Data and research led decision making

We will modernise how we manage and share our data, embedding research and data analysis into our decision-making processes, while creating the right capability, infrastructure, resilience, and collaborations.

  • Develop and publish the NPT Data and Business Intelligence Strategy
  • Establish the NPT Research Board / NPT Data Management Board
  • Ensure awareness and alignment to current data standards
  • Explore data quality issues starting with most critical datasets
  • Ensure that data and research are a core part of strategic decision making for new programmes of work
  • Ensure that complex data modelling (conceptual, logical, physical) is to a high standard and can be used to identify potential opportunities, enabling and facilitating decision making processes
  • Arrange training and input across teams to assist managers in analysing data within their own areas and use analytics to monitor report usage across the council
  • Identify, develop and implement data platforms that will enable transformative use of data including Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI), opening up deeper predictive analytics
  • Develop approaches to summarise and present highly complex data sets and conclusions in the most appropriate format for users
  • Identifying opportunities for research and evaluation of local authority initiatives - so that our analysis of our data is meaningful, helpful and relevant to our residents
  • More effective management and use of our data assets, informing key decisions based on facts to ‘Work smarter’
  • Improving data quality will increase opportunities to use it, reduce risks and costs associated with poor quality data, reduce duplication and save time for staff
  • Using agreed data standards within the council will bring consistency to the data, enabling linkage between internal data sets and with external, open data sets, and increase the potential use of the data and increase efficiency
  • Linking datasets will provide a broader view and lead to new insights that were unavailable to us before
  • A better understanding of the body of knowledge and research currently being undertaken will enable senior management to base their decisions on primary research and existing evidence
  • Ensure expected outcomes are being realised
  • When our data is kept secure then there is more trust in the way we use it
  • Collaboration across a wide range of sectors and organisations will be essential to achieve our goals because as a council we do not have all these skills in house
  • Better understand the lived experience of seldom heard groups will allow us to provide them with better services
  • Support our own quantitative and qualitative service indicators and measures
  • Deliver small and learn as we grow
  • Use ‘Cloud first’ (where possible), and develop a unified platform that will simplify the collection and collation of data - ask once, use many times
  • Use appropriate analysis methods and tools which give new and richer insights to make better use of our data and evaluate our services and interventions
  • Developing crucial research infrastructure, capacity and capability and work towards our data being research ready
  • Create digital and data career paths to ensure we have the right skills
  • Foster strong collaborations with partners from academia, public health, statutory bodies, voluntary organisations and the community to co-create new research that will give us the evidence we need to inform policy and practice
  • Address ethical considerations when it comes to data, privacy and implementing new technology

As a council we hold a wealth of data, all collected and processed as part of our daily activities. This includes financial (taxes, benefits, housing), education (attendance, exclusions, attainment, higher education and training) and environmental data (parks, roads, air quality).

Data and research have been identified as key areas for development and a priority for the council and as such are embedded into the Corporate Plan. This includes the programme of change enablers, one of which specifically identifies the need to join up and use the data we hold to improve our understanding of what matters to our residents.

By developing a cross-organisational culture that recognises our data as a valuable, strategic and trusted resource, we will drive its use beyond the initial purpose for which it is collected while ensuring robust data protection controls are in place. Alignment to the UK Government Data Ethics Framework will also help us to ensure compliance with the overarching principles including transparency, accountability and fairness.

Data and research led decision making

We will promote an approach where data is most powerful when it is of high-quality, of accepted standards, discoverable, accessible, interoperable, safely held, shared appropriately and linked to external administrative data sets.