With their responsibility for front-line service delivery, councils have access to a huge amount of information. From managing school admissions, social care for vulnerable children and adults, electoral registration, waste collection, procurement, road maintenance and street works, council tax collection to planning applications.
The jigsaw problem
What if there was a way of bringing this information together so that it can be analysed to provide more effective services? To save officer time in front and back office processes? To understand fraud and error? To provide insight into social problems?
Most council services have a common denominator: location. The unique references in council held Local Land and Property and Street Gazetteers, the Unique Property Reference Number (UPRN) and the Unique Street Reference Number (USRN) can be used to connect data together to see the bigger picture.
Every council has their own gazetteer which has information on every bit of land, property or street within their administrative area. Significantly, every council also has access to the national versions of this data, free of charge from Ordnance Survey; AddressBase and Highways Network.
Overcoming the fragmentation of local government data
How can you coordinate the actions of teams intelligently if you have thirty departments, none of whom have the data on what the other is doing?
Consider the Troubled Families initiative, where some families are missed altogether because of the fragmentation of data. If the child goes to school in the neighbouring local authority, the family's council doesn't know that the child has stopped turning up at school.
The various data sources which would help identify troubled families are disparately stored and not easily compared with one another. This means that without bringing data together, identifying possible families who would benefit from the targeted support is difficult.
But by utilising the UPRN, the councils can link together key different datasets to a property address to evaluate whether individual records meet the programme criteria, both within one council or across two, or even three. The outcome is a database which could be used to interrogate the various data sources at property level to build up a more detailed picture of families in and provide support to those in need.
How can councils take advantage?
- technology delivers value through being scaled, data delivers value when it is linked and it is shared
- connect your data by using UPRNs. They provide an easy way to match records
- once records are matched people can more easily see, analyse, and understand patterns and relationships
- the data is already yours. The know-how is available. Connect the data jigsaw to see the bigger picture.
See how councils are already connecting their data for better outcomes
Connecting Data for Better Outcomes 1
Brighton & Hove City Council - Using UPRN as the key to creating a unified Customer Index
Connecting Data for Better Outcomes 2
Salford City Council - Using the UPRN to better service customers
Connecting Data for Better Outcomes 3
Manchester City Council — Using the UPRN to identify families with troubles
Connecting Data for Better Outcomes 4
Harrow Council – the UPRN, the logical glue, or "How I was converted to understand the importance of the LLPG"
Connecting Data for Better Outcomes 5
Bath & North East Somerset Council - Using UPRNs to improve business rate collection
Connecting Data for Better Outcomes 6
Brighton & Hove City Council – using the USRN to light up the city
Connecting Data for Better Outcomes 7
Rushmoor Borough Council – Increasing customer satisfaction with UPRNs
Connecting data for Better Outcomes 8
Camden Council – creating a Residents' Index using the UPRN
Connecting data for Better Outcomes 9
Kent integrated Database – using the UPRN to support health and care providers
- The UPRN in Kent's public health drive
- Camden highlights benefits from using UPRN; Camden has harnessed the unique property reference number for improvements in protecting vulnerable children and fighting fraud
- Unique geographic keys – linking people to place - blog post from Ordnance Survey
- The UPRN, the Logical Glue - blog post from Ben Jones, Head of Digital Services, Harrow Council
- How does using the UPRN connect data?
- Connecting data for better outcomes
- The UPRN – your golden thread
- The UPRN can be the data glue for better outcomes
- Linking People to Places
- Nesta government lead urges authorities to use UPRNs
- Address data and its role in digital services and efficiency
- Address and street data: 'anchor of the digital economy'
- Location standards deliver services around people
- How the UPRN unlocks data
- Everything Happens Somewhere - Address and street data: a common standard for digital transformation
"The UPRN is the jewel at the heart of the addressing system. It links address data across a diverse range of systems and services. The UPRN facilitates greater accuracy and immediate data sharing and matching - delivering better services and better outcomes for citizens"Rt Hon Matthew Hancock MP, previous Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General and present Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
"I am now convinced that any public sector organization that wants to get involved in using data for better outcomes needs to connect together your spatial data, use UPRNs there's an easy way to match records. There are amazing things you can do by matching records. If you don't have the UPRN you are making your life impossibly difficult to do it. Its starting with the basics and there is a marked difference with what you can do if you do it well."Eddie Copeland, Director of Government Innovation in the Innovation Lab at NESTA
"We all hear all the time that technology delivers value through being scaled, data delivers value when it is linked and it is shared. The future of local government, the future of public services, the future of our communities depends on this - connecting data for better outcomes. For that you need UPRNs they are absolutely vital"Eddie Copeland, Director of Government Innovation in the Innovation Lab at NESTA
"In terms of building a business case for an investment in the LLPG, it is my conclusion that you can't build a successful transformation programme without building a strong foundation first and building a corporate approach to the LLPG is at the heart of that. Without creating a strong LLPG infrastructure and the resources to maintain it, every digital project that your council or your organisation works on so will be much harder to deliver."Ben Jones, Head of Digital Services at Harrow Council
"Using the UPRN means that we can match records with greater success. The aim of the golden record is to cherry pick the best data from different sources and assemble a record based on what we believe is the best data we hold, and the UPRN is one of the top ones. It is also an essential tool for cleansing and de-duplicating data held in source systems. We are putting a huge effort into improving the quality of data across the organisation as this will lead us to being able to provide better services to our residents."Sanja Milojevic, senior business analyst for Camden's Shared Digital Service with Islington and Haringey.
"We have always maintained that Multi Agency Information Transfer (MAIT) in Wales utilises the UPRN as the key unique identifier. Information sharing using the UPRN is now in operation with the majority of Welsh Emergency Services and we are currently testing a similar approach in the exchange of data between Social Services and Emergency Services for example to undertake free Home Fire Safety Checks for vulnerable adults. My role has increasingly involved the Emergency Services in England and I am confident that within the near future, the use of the UPRN to underpin Emergency Service Command and Control Systems and as the unique identifier for wider public service information sharing, will be the norm not the exception. GeoPlace will be instrumental in achieving this."Tony Bracey, MAIT Project Manager
"We firmly believe the UPRN to be a key element in driving forward effective and targeted service delivery. By placing the UPRN at the core of every service delivery system, not only can we continue to improve the services we offer, but also make savings through effective data sharing and joined up working. The immediate benefits internally range from fraud detection to enhanced routes for waste collection, as well as a much better understanding of each and every resident who consumes our services. As a result, the resident benefits from better services, as well as the convenience of being able to transact and gain access to a wealth of public information online. All of this has been facilitated by the UPRN."Luke Studden, Address Information Custodian, London Borough of Harrow