How Wolverhampton’s Local Information System is driving consistency of data use and helping deliver evidence-based strategic planning

Background

The Corporate Strategy and Improvement Unit at Wolverhampton City Council provides statistics, information, research and intelligence for decision making and is responsible for demographic data held by the council.

Debbie Turner, Policy Officer (Research & Information) in the Unit, says the decision to develop a Local information System (LIS) came from a recognition that data wasn’t being used effectively and that there was a great deal of duplication of effort when it came to local intelligence.

“We were getting a lot of requests for the same information, often from the people working together on the same projects or in the same service while at the same time we knew there was good work going on in pockets across the council and other organisations,” she says. “We also spent a lot of our time co-ordinating data collection from a range of services for people within the council or for partner organisations.”

Debbie says one of their key aims was to improve information management and to ensure that the most up-to-date data, from the right sources was being used. The Unit started to develop a business case for an LIS and created a project group consisting of key strategic partners from across the city. The business case was signed off in September 2010 and the Unit set about a tender process. After assessing three bids InstantAtlas was awarded the contract.

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