NEW INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY FOR WEST LONDON

Features: March 10th, 2017

As the Spring 2017 budget gives more support for technology, a new Institute for Technology is announced for Ealing, in West London.

A DfE-backed review of further education has recommended that Ealing, Hammersmith and West London’s College develops its base as the largest provider of degree-level and higher-level technical qualifications in West London. The proposal will ensure the college can deliver the increasingly complex technical skills that employers in the region will need while doubling the number of apprenticeships available in the area.

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MAKING PUBLIC SECTOR CHANNEL SHIFT WORK

Features: March 3rd, 2017

VoiceSage’s Matthew Weil discusses cross-channel engagement and the practical ways we can make that happen in not just the commercial space, but the public sector too

The public wants to engage with their service providers in the way they want to, not the way Whitehall or the Town Hall necessarily want. Service users also want to discover the option that suits them best. But how can we make that flexibility happen in ways that meet that need – and help tight public sector budgets?

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ANALYTICS AGAINST FRAUD

Features: February 24th, 2017

The 2016 Annual Fraud Indicator, an industry report produced at the University of Portsmouth, estimated that fraud costs the UK £193 billion every year, with £144 billion attributed to business fraud. Having more financial services and more personal information online can entice fraudsters but organisations can also leverage this information to monitor and reduce risk. Here, Greg Richards, Sales and Marketing Director of business intelligence specialist Connexica, looks at how organisations can employ analytics software to manage the risks of fraud.

From paying council tax to paying a leisure centre membership, many tasks that previously required a trip to the local council office can now be completed online. While this is far more convenient for customers, it also gives the organisations a chance to cross-reference this large amount of data to prevent fraud.

According to the National Fraud Authority, fraud and corruption costs local government £2 billion a year. At a time when budgets are tight for local authorities, any financial savings have a large impact. Fraud and corruption reduce the amount of resources that are available for legitimate claimants and also reduce the money available for public services.

In response to these figures, Kent County Council’s counter fraud team set up the Kent Intelligence Network (KIN). Local authorities involved in the partnership unified a wide range of data before using analytics software to scrutinise the data to find matches and patterns which could potentially indicate fraudulent activity.

By using business analytics software, organisations can search for discrepancies between previously separated data sets such as council tax, benefits and leisure centre records. Council tax records may show that someone claims to live alone but leisure centre records may show multiple people registered at an address. Councils can use analytics software to flag up such discrepancies and investigate further based on quantitative findings.

Streams of data that need to be analysed may come from different types of software, especially when they come from different organisations. To successfully identify any potential fraudulent activity, business analytics software should be able to monitor data from different sources. For example, Connexica’s CXAIR software is able to monitor data from a number of common business applications such as Sage. CXAIR also uses plug-in adapters to import information from other services such as Twitter or LinkedIn.

Every day, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data. Due to this huge amount of data that large organisations record every day, it is impossible for employees to manually monitor all data to look for any suspicious activity, or to look for patterns. In banking, analytics software is often used to search for suspicious activity, such as a series of withdrawals or transfers to offshore accounts, and these can then be flagged for further monitoring.

It is vital that large companies have safeguards in place to protect against fraudulent activity. For example, bank employees have authorisation limits on the payments that they can make, but even these measures have previously been circumvented by making two smaller transactions rather than one large one. By using business analytics software, companies can trace all of the transactions that have been made by a teller if suspicions are raised. Software that uses natural language search makes this much easier for non-technical staff, who can search for all records by name. They will then see a record of all of the payments authorised by that teller and can identify any fraudulent activity.

With experts predicting an increase in fraud over the coming years, the annual fraud report recommends that companies should make investments into the development of anti-fraud detection systems. By using business analytics software, companies have increased control and management over the wide range of data that they hold and can better mitigate the risk of fraudulent activity.

Editor’s note: If you want to ensure you keep up to date with press material, opinion focussed blog content and case studies from Connexica, you can visit its media centre here – https://www.connexica.com/media/.

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THE TRUE COSTS OF MISSING THE SCHOOL TRANSPORT SCHEDULING WINDOW AND HOW BEST TO AVOID THEM

Features: February 21st, 2017

Paul Attenborough describes the problems councils face annually in inviting tenders for school transport. He offers suggestions for tackling the issue with rapid route planning.

According to the Department of Transport, 29% of 11-16 year olds use some form of bus transport when travelling to school. With more than 8.5 million pupils attending 24,000 schools in England that equates to up to 2.5 million school passengers a day. The provision of safe, reliable and efficient school transport poses a significant challenge for Local Authorities, especially when finances are constrained. Councils are under further pressure to minimise the number of vehicles needed, reduce CO2 emissions and minimise journey times for passengers.

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PUTTING PEOPLE AT THE HEART OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE INTEGRATION

Features: February 10th, 2017

Achieving the vision of health and social care integration calls for a shift in culture and a new way of working, suggests Mark Raeburn, who examines the thoughts of seven directors of adult social services on the topic.

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CUTTING PATIENT DOCUMENTATION TIME

Features: February 7th, 2017

In this feature Dr Simon Wallace calls for healthcare organisations to build speech-enabled clinical documentation to improve patient services.

Faced with the unparalleled challenges of a rising population, seemingly constant pressure to reform and growing patient demands – against the backdrop of budget cuts and austerity, and a government commitment to develop a paperless organisation by 2020 – the NHS is confronting one of the toughest periods since its inception.

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SMART CITY – SMART CARD – SMART DELIVERY

Features: January 31st, 2017

In this article Antonio Coppola describes the attitudes of people to smartcards and explores some of the benefits they bring.

Even before the government’s ‘Smart Cities’ paper in 2013, (Department for Business Innovation and Skills), the concept had begun to weave its way into public sector (and private sector) thinking. Three years on and most UK cities are either well into their ‘smart city’ transformation, or planning it.

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BOOST FOR PUBLIC SECTOR SELF SERVICE

Features: January 20th, 2017

Developing websites to extend self service facilities is challenging and across the public sector progress has not been as rapid as expected. In this article Chris Haslam describes how Drupal 8 can help with development.

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SMART CITY LIFE WILL NEED SMART DATA

Features: January 13th, 2017

Neo Technology’s Emil Eifrem looks at how we’ll need to harness Internet of Things (IoT) technology to make cities more manageable.

Our cities are much larger and more complex than their Industrial Revolution era forebears. Ageing infrastructure, pollution, traffic congestion and crime have come in their wake – challenges city leaders see smart cities as being their best hope of ameliorating.

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FOR GOVERNMENT IT PROFESSIONALS: DON’T HESITATE – AUTOMATE

Features: January 9th, 2017

Automation is impacting severely on IT as in other spheres of life. Joe Kim recognizes why some see automation as a threat, but urges all to embrace it as the way forward.

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