In the Autumn of 2017, Sleuth Cooperative, led by Hilary Simpson, delivered consultancy for Barbour Logic as part of their process to identify areas of opportunity for their software and specific areas of expertise, within the Local Government markets.
Barbour Logic commissioned Sleuth because of their unique approach to gathering data for a quantitative analysis of opportunities.
Sleuth systematically analysed 30 savings programmes as published online by a range of Local Councils across England. They built a database for Barbour Logic which identified the common themes and potential technology solutions for pressing Local Government service problems. They were also able to highlight when to engage with specific Local Councils depending on their savings timetables.
In addition, they collated data from a range of sources to help quantify the potential cost savings that a particular technology solution would deliver.
The way the consultancy was conducted was different to traditional ‘Big 4‘ consultancy approaches.
Every week - Sleuth staff played back their findings to Barbour Logic in a 2 hour workshop with Barbour Logic senior representatives. This was used to refine the research effort for the following week. It meant that less promising opportunities were discounted and a long list of 20 opportunities were aggregated and narrowed down to 6 key opportunity areas which were then researched in further depth.
When the final report was delivered there were no surprises as issues or risks, and changes had been flagged up openly with a way forward agreed at each phase - specifically where the expected approach in the original brief needed to be modified once specific data sources had been investigated. They were then replaced with other resources or avenues of research.
Sleuth's dynamic, open and flexible approach to the consultancy meant that Barbour Logic were able to get maximum benefit and value from the Sleuth researchers.
The presentations each week and the final report were delivered to a very high professional standard.
Barbour Logic have now developed a new software product based on the most favourable opportunity identified from the research, and are in the process of refining it further with a group of Stakeholder Local Authorities. The research has lead directly to action.
Thank you to Hilary Simpson (Lead), Toby Baker (Researcher and report writer), Eleanor Nichols (Researcher, report writer and graphics /professional presentation)
A data maturity assessment across multiple public sector agencies in Worcestershire to support greater information sharing. The business case, action plan and contextual research are of 'National Significance'.
The recommendations have been of practical value to WODA - some have already been enacted - and they have been taken forward to create new ways of working
In the Autumn of 2017 Hilary Simpson was engaged by Entity to deliver against the Worcestershire Office of data Analytics (WODA) objective to dramatically improve their data management capabilities; better exploiting their information assets by working more effectively with key public sector partners whilst also being compliant with data management regulations.
WODA is a consortium of public and voluntary sector partners across Worcestershire whose objective is to maximise the use and sharing of data for the benefit of the residents and businesses across Worcestershire.
The chief data officer for WODA - Neill Crump - was keen to have Hilary involved because of her extensive Public sector knowledge and hands on experience of delivering data sharing projects in Local Authorities and during her time at Nesta the innovation foundation, working on the London Office of Data Analytics (LODA).
Hilary’s role in the project was to work alongside the lead Entity consultant interviewing a wide range of public and voluntary sector representatives from strategic leads, back office data and security roles and front line practitioners. Specifically she led on the engagement with the Children's Safeguarding team. Her years of Local Government experience mean that she was able to bring a depth of insight, listen very carefully and fully understand front line staff as well as asking pertinent questions.
Her in-depth understanding of data governance also meant that she was able to assimilate and deploy Entity’s ‘Data Delta’ method for modelling data maturity very quickly. This was used to measure General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance across the WODA partnership, and draw up an action plan for improvements.
Hilary contributed to large parts of the final report, including the business case, the short medium and long term recommendations, the data structures and the plain English descriptions of the technology and information sharing recommendations. She also researched a wide range of public sector sources for background information on services and information sharing risks and benefits. This gave the final report resonance with Public sector strategic leads.
The WODA and Entity team worked in synergy to co-produce the final report, in an agile way.
The recommendations have been of practical value to WODA - some have already been enacted - and they have been taken forward to create new ways of working at WODA.