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Putting it all into the blender!

Exemplar Award Winner- Highly Commended National Gazetteers Integration Award: London Borough of Harrow

Having benefited from its early efforts to integrate systems, the London Borough of Harrow decided it wanted to go further by linking its LLPG to each and every one of its operational systems.

There are clear advantages to this, not least having to maintain only one address database. However, at Harrow the ambition goes further. The council is aiming to create an enhanced version of the LLPG blended with other data that could then be used to benefit the operations of other council departments.

To create the enhanced version of the LLPG, the council’s in-house development team created the ‘LLPG Integrator’, a series of routines and processes that utilises the latest NLPG data schema. Each day, the latest version of the gazetteer is extracted and then ‘blended’ with over 20 layers of existing spatial data. These include: wards, Experian data, controlled parking zone areas and times, bin collection schedules and flood zones, to name just a few. The result is one large spatial database table that enables any of the blended information to be accessed by any council system or resident facing web services with the UPRN working at its core.

This effectively enables improved service delivery to residents, on the one hand, and a complete ‘citizen view’ in terms of services used and incidents logged, on the other. The change in gazetteer use is far reaching, driving everything from the website to the contact centre, internal systems and support services.

The enhanced gazetteer is now integrated into the core of a number of council systems with more scheduled to integrate over the coming months. Day to day management of the base gazetteer remains crucial, even more so now that so many systems are reliant upon it.

It has been enhanced by a looping workflow between staff and systems which enables any anomalies or mismatched addresses to be fed back to the LLPG Custodian. He in turn updates the gazetteer which benefits all the systems within the council that use it.

Outcomes

Over twenty of the borough’s core systems are now fully integrated with the LLPG and a further seven areas use the enhanced data produced by the ‘LLPG Integrator’. These include: the Access Harrow CRM, the MyHarrow Citizens’ Portal, the MyHarrow Citizen Account, planning, web forms, intranet mapping, and corporate GIS.

Once integration becomes pervasive, there are many benefits that can accrue; for example, the presentation of services relevant to individual residents on the MyHarrow web portal which is fully automated and based on Experian profile data. Indeed, the online experience for the residents of Harrow, who have online access and a preference to self-serve, has been greatly improved. Two of the most common queries; bin collection days and controlled parking zones, can now be carried out online. The borough has, as a result, witnessed a significant shift from the customer contact centre to the web channel. Other specific and significant projects that have benefited from LLPG integration include:

• waste collector project – £3.2m saving over 10 years

• CRM system enhancement including citizen access

• streets and grounds maintenance project

• MyHarrow Account – secure log in area for residents to report and transact online.

The London Borough of Harrow continues to innovate and seek out new ways to integrate its LLPG. The project to create the ‘LLPG Integrator’ needed no business case as no additional funding was required. It is a great example of making the best use of available resources and in-house skills.

Key benefits

• the LLPG is fast becoming the single source of address intelligence for all council systems

• further integration has enabled two way data transfer so that anomalies and mismatches can be fed back for better data matching or correction, enabling continuous gazetteer improvement

• LLPG is now core to initiatives that are delivering significant savings

• further Channel Shift via the MyHarrow citizens’ web portal and CRM which also help to meet ‘Avoidable Contact’ targets

• placing the UPRN firmly at the centre of all council systems enables better understanding of which services are delivered to which citizens, in turn delivering further insights and better joined up working

• wider recognition of the LLPG as the authority’s single source of addressing.

View from the authority

“By working in partnership, Adur and Worthing Councils have successfully managed to achieve unprecedented levels of integration and, as a result, have achieved significant financial savings and instigated more efficient ways of working. Underpinning this success is a combined and integrated gazetteer that has been developed and maintained to the highest standards, providing address intelligence across the partnership.”

-Gill Van-Eetvelt Corporate Information Manager, Adur District and Worthing Borough Councils

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