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Our Digital Vision - Data and intelligence

We want to be a council that uses data and intelligence to drive informed, transparent, decision-making, moving away from retrospective performance reporting.  We want to move towards the use of predictive analytics and ultimately prescriptive analytics to improve outcomes. 

We want to join up our data to have one version of the truth that is available to the wider organisation to use, and develop a culture of embedding the use of data and insight into strategic and operational management practice and designing better public services. 

The council collects significant amounts of diverse data, for example:

  • social care for vulnerable children
  • waste collection, procurement
  • Council Tax collection
  • planning applications

This ‘big data’ offers an opportunity for greater understanding and analysis to provide better insight for decision making.

We continue to use data analytics to try to predict events from drug abuse to the likeliest locations for house fires, to school children most at risk of not completing their education. These insights help to equip us with the enhanced ability to take a preventative approach, putting in place interventions to try and stop problemsrather than providing costly services in response.

Data and geographical location will play a key role in delivering a ‘smart rural Dorset’, where internet of things devices capture and send data to help us understand what is happening.  Using technologies like machine learning, artificial intelligence and data visualization will help understand and improve areas such as carbon emissions, asset management and traffic flow.

We will do this by:

  • growing our capability and skills in the insight and intelligence function, including technical systems knowledge, data knowledge, business intelligence and development of new data scientist roles 
  • improving the quality of our data and educating the workforce on the importance of data and geographical location, what it’s telling us and the questions that come from the data.  We will explore the idea of performance champions across the Council to help us do this
  • educating and reassuring our customers how their data will be used making sure the rights of individuals privacy are maintained and to provide partner organisations with the confidence that information is shared appropriately, working with our corporate information governance group
  • merging data sources and reporting capabilities into a common approach to ensure consistency of performance reporting and enable evidence-based decision making, with the development of interactive dashboarding solutions for end users where required
  • establishing a common approach for business intelligence utilising data warehousing, enabling the combination of data sets to better target resources and earlier intervention.  This will allow for deeper population level analysis and provide frontline professionals access to a more comprehensive picture of the people receiving their services
  • continuing to work with health colleagues to develop the Dorset intelligence and insight service (DiiS), a data service linking health and social care data across the system, aiming to create a shared data pool which will automatically combine data and provide end users with intuitive and clear self-serve solutions, supported by information sharing agreements underpinned by the Dorset Information Sharing Charter
  • starting to publish data openly where possible in reusable formats in the most appropriate places for our users and continuing to develop our use of geographical information systems

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