Effective cross-sector data analytics platform

Why is this important?

Together with advanced technology we have the opportunity to improve quality of life. The technology discussed in Connected District theme is only part of the equation – we need to integrate the advanced technologies and new data methods into traditional workflows to inform (better) data-driven decisions regarding service design and delivery.

Our IoT investment will set up a network which can accept sensors used by a variety of organisations. This will allow the district to harness creative ideas and technologies from our partners in both public and private sector. This in turn will create a landscape of data being produced across the district on a multitude of applications across many sectors. It is important we harness these capabilities with the right data capture, storage, processing and analytical tools.

What is our ambition?

That we are at the forefront in using smart technologies and data analytics to enhance the lives of the citizens and businesses of Bradford.

Using data and digital technologies is enabling us to take a “whole systems” approach to the challenges facing Bradford’s public services and environment.

Where are we now?

Bradford has an improving culture of sharing data driven further by the pandemic, however there is a need to go further including making people aware of what data we hold across all stakeholders.

Within the Council there is no corporate data repository or a common data schema but a series of data warehouses for our larger systems. Our current focus is mainly on operational data and could do much more if we can break out of the “data bubble” that people are used to. Reporting tends to be on very defined datasets and doesn’t consider what other data there could be to improve decision making. Considerable investment has been made on corporate tools such as Power BI which we can build on.

We need the capability to bring in data from multiple sources. Council Services have had to deal with multiple interfaces for various products, pushing suppliers to help them access the raw data so they can bring it together in tools like Power BI. What is required is digital access via APIs (Application Programme Interfaces) or direct connection to the Cloud source and not just manual extracts at expense to the Council. This is a common problem faced by all Councils but the landscape is changing with more APIs becoming readily available.

Regards GIS and spatial analysis tools, the Council have already invested in most of the tools recommended by the Economic & Social Research Institute (ESCRI) and are therefore well-equipped to visualise data.

What are we going to do?

  1. Commission a review of the Council’s current state of data management, analytics and reporting and develop a Data Modernisation Strategy
  2. Building on the Council review, curate a series of workshops around priority themes open to key stakeholders such as Born in Bradford (BiB), Act Early, University of Bradford, Health Partners with the aim of identifying potential challenges and use cases. Identify external capability amongst research, start-up and small business community
  3. Develop a clearly focused data collaboration programme on the back of the workshops, which includes issues around data demand, data ownership, data quality as well as organisational capability
  4. Produce a business case, priority use cases, adoption roadmap and Indicative Timeline – a set of actionable next steps and timelines for transitioning to the future state and how to execute on these
  5. Invest in training to give all staff a baseline understanding of data handling as well as ensuring our data specialists are equipped with advanced skills
  6. Develop a technology road map to establish the data and technical architecture and analytical tools to integrate with a range of data sources with clear milestones needed for the secure sharing of data, an operating platform capable of handling IoT data at volume and speed, and the broader aim of establishing district wide cloud-storage and the analytics potential it can support.
  7. Establish a world class City Data Market, based on open standards and flexible interfaces
  8. Engage with WYCA regional partners on a strategy for data and the business case for a regional data analytics office and appoint a Chief Information Role to oversee the development of a placed based data strategy delivering city data market and supporting citizen science CoE aims

5 years on

What does ‘good’ look like?

We have in place central architecture that manages to bring disparate real time data streams from a range of sources into one place which advanced analytics tools can be applied to aid a whole systems approach to service planning and delivery.

Users can combine multiple data sets with a range of visualisation tools that will unlock the real value of data. Data can be mapped and the accumulation of data provide an insight into the issues facing both the citizens of Bradford and public services as it responds to the issues raised. Automation of processing and Self Service reporting is in abundance.