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Using data and insight in Barnet

Using data and insight, we helped Barnet council make informed decisions and plan for the future

We are beginning to change and improve the Council’s understanding of its residents, and are making our first steps towards better services guided by in-depth insight. This is a long-term project and, while we won’t transform the services we deliver overnight, in Barnet, this is undoubtedly how we see the future of local authority services being designed.

Andrew Travers

Chief executive, London Borough of Barnet

Barnet, like most councils, is facing a number of challenges - increasing demand and high customer expectations combined with rising financial pressure. Residents want choice, trust and outstanding service – and, where possible, to access services when and how they choose. And Barnet is tackling this issue head on.

As part of Capita’s Customer Support Group contract with Barnet Council, we’re providing a dedicated insight team with data analysts, marketers, demographers and geographers. Capita’s team captures data from a huge variety of sources to help pinpoint the exact needs and expectations of our residents as precisely as they possibly can.

The team has access to all manner of data, from council tax collections and housing benefits, parking permits, to the school census or the electoral roll. As a result, the council is transforming how it uses this immense amount of useful data that is readily available from a huge variety of sources. And the insight team has already helped to deliver a number of improvements and initiatives, targeted at supporting residents and the community. These include:

  • Developing the council’s information management systems.
  • Focusing and targeting customer service – particularly around channel development.
  • Commissioning better services – the insight model is designed to provide the council’s Commissioning Group with a data warehouse to help model and analyse information to understand the future demand for services.
  • Developing a new traffic information website – which, following a review into all the parking restrictions in the borough, is aimed at making residents’ lives easier by ensuring all restrictions, yellow lines and signs are working properly and by giving residents access to up-to-date information.
  • Pinpointing the best way to boost community projects – eg, volunteers to help with the upkeep of parks, by identifying which residents are most likely to volunteer and which parks they use most.

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