Think of a local government service and chances are that data can be used to improve it. Whether it’s protecting vulnerable children, collecting the bins, fixing housing repairs, gritting the roads, or helping local businesses to grow, data can help councils to perform these tasks more effectively.

Running a city or local authority is, to a great extent, about managing and responding to information. Digitalisation, use of sensors and new forms of data collection are giving rise to emerging data sets, which combined with more conventional data can offer valuable insights on the wide variety of activities performed by councils.

Our new report explores how councils are already using this data to create better services, navigate budget cuts, support the local economy and allocate resources to where they’ll have the greatest impact.

Here, we’re showcasing eight projects that highlight how this can work in practice. We hope these examples can inspire local policymakers to consider new approaches to data, and get more value from the information they receive.