SIMPLIFYING DATA MANAGEMENT IN GOVERNMENT

Features: August 26th, 2016

Database management in public sector organisations is challenging because of the volumes of data involved and long retention periods. In this article Joe Kim offers four principles to reduce complexity.

Confucius wrote, “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” This is applicable to most aspects of life, yet could not be more applicable to the way government organisations manage data. Although it may feel necessary to collect large amounts of data and store it for many years, this process is actually extremely inefficient and unnecessary. It can escalate costs through constantly having to scale up with storage solutions, while complicating processes due to the vast amounts of data which need to be sifted through.

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COULD GRAPH DATABASES GIVE US BETTER DIGITAL PUBLIC SERVICES?

Features: August 19th, 2016

Graph databases are starting to be used to help not just the enterprise but also the Civil Service and Police force, says Neo Technology’s Emil Eifrem

Governments have many of the same data problems as commercial corporations do in the Internet Age, namely expansive and growing collections of data.

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WHY SCHOOLS PROVIDE AN IMPORTANT PIECE IN THE JIGSAW OF VULNERABILITY

Features: August 12th, 2016

With academy conversion continuing to rise Mark Raeburn, managing director at Capita One, explains why data from schools will continue to be a vital element in getting the right help for children and families in place sooner.

Everyone has their own strategy for attempting a jigsaw puzzle, but many people find the best place to start is to check you have all the pieces. Missing pieces make it difficult to see the crucial clues you need to complete the picture.

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UNLOCKING THE POWER OF DATA FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

Features: July 29th, 2016

Data is critical to the planning and delivery of early help for vulnerable children and families. Mark Raeburn, managing director of Capita One, looks at the essential role of the local authority data crunchers and explores how they get knowledge from information.

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TEACHERS AT CENTRE OF DEVELOPING NATIONAL DIGITAL SKILLS

Features: July 22nd, 2016

The Science and Technology Committee released its Digital Skills Report in June, which contained a series of alarming figures. Digital skills levels are low, with over 12 million adults lacking even basic computer skills which, against a need for another 745,000 workers with digital skills to fill roles by next year , points to a serious gap between education and business need. So what is the answer? A study by Jisc, the leading provider of digital technology solutions into the education sector, suggests that investing in teacher development is the key to driving digital literacy in the UK.

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THE RACE TOWARDS DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

Features: July 8th, 2016

There is momentum driving a digitised public sector, but progress depends on continuing public trust that personal data is secure. In this article Paul Appleby stresses the importance of robust cyber security and discusses the learning available from the private sector.

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THE PAPERWEIGHT OF THE PUBLIC SECTOR

Features: July 1st, 2016

Relying less on paper and moving to digitized information is a long term aspiration of public sector organisations, but progress has been slower than in the private sector. In this feature Jason Howard suggests a data management approach to overcome the barriers that are impeding transformation.

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DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION IS NOT JUST ABOUT PUTTING SERVICES ON LINE

Features: June 17th, 2016

Improving services is a phrase which can cause groans in service users. The expression often means the challenge of grappling with change, with all the benefits going to the service provider. In this feature Stephen Morgan argues that there must also be user benefits.

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WE’RE GOING ON A THREAT HUNT

Features: May 10th, 2016

For more than 25 years Michael Rosen’s charming story “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt” has captured the imaginations of millions, transporting readers on an adventure to “catch a big one” while overcoming a series of challenges along the way.

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ORGANISATIONS JOIN FORCES TO IMPROVE ENERGY EFFICIENCY

Features: April 29th, 2016

Procure Plus has helped boost the energy efficiency of almost 900 homes across the North West, by forging a partnership between South Liverpool Homes and property development and construction training company, Top Notch Contractors.

South Liverpool Homes approached Procure Plus looking for support on its photovoltaics (PV) scheme that aimed to meet the housing provider’s carbon reduction objectives. However, soon into the project, the Government announced changes to the Feed-in-Tariff (FIT), which would see funding for PV schemes decrease by up to 64 per cent from February 2016. This meant that the installation and registration of solar PV systems across South Liverpool Homes’ housing stock would need to be completed within a year.

The project was put out to tender as a lot on Procure Plus’ planned maintenance Installation Framework, with Top Notch Contractors appointed in July 2015, and Solarking UK named as preferred suppliers. The scheme started in September 2015 was originally planned for completion by September 2016, yet in light of the looming decrease in funding rates, the timescales were brought forward by ten months.

“Social landlords invest in PV to ensure their tenants benefit from electricity bill reductions. However, they rely on a robust level of FIT funding to deliver these schemes,” said Jackie Roach, operations manager at Procure Plus. “With this in mind, it was vital we helped South Liverpool Homes to deliver the projects quickly before funding was reduced.”

To accelerate the project, Procure Plus provided additional support to the partnership by creating an intensive yet realistic installation programme. This included daily monitoring and timed targets to manage the additional materials and equipment required in the tight timescales.
The end result was 898 solar PV installations completed and registered before the deadline and all within South Liverpool Homes’ budget.

“The PV scheme should have taken at least six months to complete, but the proposed changes to the FIT funding meant that this was just not possible,” explained Andrew Roberts, operations manager at Top Notch Contractors. “There was a big risk that we wouldn’t be able to source the solar panels and the tools required for the project, but Procure Plus had the technical experience and longstanding relationships with Solarking UK to ensure everything arrived in time.”

Concluding, Gareth Rigby, head of assets at South Liverpool Homes, went on to explain: “The changes put a lot of pressure on the project, but this is a great example of how strategic partnerships between organisations can really deliver and add value within communities.

“Our tenants can now benefit from living in more energy efficient homes and all the cost saving that brings, and we’ve been able to help dramatically reduce the carbon emissions within our neighbourhoods.”

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