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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?

  1. technology delivers value through being scaled, data delivers value when it is linked and it is shared
  2. connect your data by using UPRNs. They provide an easy way to match records
  3. once records are matched people can more easily see, analyse, and understand patterns and relationships
  4. 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

Other resources:


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