The data dashboard

www.nesta.org.uk/feature/eight-ways-councils-are-using-data-create-better-services/the-data-dashboard/
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Camden is using ‘data dashboards’ to give managers and staff real-time information about their services, and insight into how to make them better for residents.

What is it?

The dashboards have had a particularly big impact in the housing repairs service, which is responsible for around 50,000 repairs jobs a year on the council’s housing stock.

The data dashboard accompanied a ‘systems thinking review’ of the service. Camden wanted to manage repairs jobs better, improve customer satisfaction and reduce ‘failure demand’ (the number of repair jobs which originate because the council made an error in processing a previous order).

Camden also wanted to understand better which factors drive satisfaction, and to control expenditure. The repairs service considered the data it needed to see in order to effectively manage the service to meet these outcomes.

How does it work?

Previously, Camden’s data was led by what central government would tell them to measure. Since the introduction of the dashboards, what the data repairs managers now look at is led by which factors most directly affect customer satisfaction and help managers make operational decisions. The data sets chosen are those which help the managers to understand what is happening in the service in real-time.

Camden also made information about customer satisfaction available on the dashboard. Satisfaction surveys, managed by an external organisation, are loaded into the system and onto the dashboard.

What are the benefits?

Repairs managers can now dissect information by a range of variables, such as job, repairs operative, speed of completion, method of completion, all on a monthly basis.

This helped pinpoint areas where problems were arising, prompted remedial action, and as a result satisfaction levels have improved by 6-8% over two years. The number of repairs calls has also reduced by 25,000 (or 14%), which translates into 2,850 fewer repairs orders.