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Data makes a difference

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Making the best use of data helps to improve services to our citizens

Data underpins everything that we do as a council - it supports both our policy and operational decision making and can help to improve lives and save costs.

It is of huge importance to us and how we work - many of our decisions are based on evidence and research. When we get quality data to support a programme of work, we can reap many benefits - for both our city, our citizens and our organisation.

If we get poor insight data, this can have devastating consequences for our projects and also impact the lives of our citizens.

So what does data mean to you and why is it important to us?

Data (factual information) helps the council to improve the services we deliver to our citizens - this can be wide ranging from protecting vulnerable children to collecting bins, gritting the roads and helping businesses to develop.

Data can include all the types of information we collect, store, analyse, and use and can be recorded in many formats such as numbers, text, images, video, maps.

For example, it might include:

  • information about our citizens such as the council services they use and where they live
  • financial information such as our outgoings and income
  • specific employment records on our staff, volunteers and contractors
  • our strategic outcomes/impact measures
  • environmental and population information such as health records

Why is data so important to us?

The use of data plays an increasing role in helping to design, deliver and transform our services to our citizens. Making the best use of accurate and efficient data can help us to improve outcomes and drive efficiencies within current financial constraints.

We all need to better understand the value of collecting, processing and using data across the organisation as data really does make a difference.

Read our case studies - see how data is making a real difference

Piero Matassoni, Information Officer (GIS), SIIT Team: Providing insights into our communities and planning applications

DMAD - Piero Matassoni

Data is important in the Planning Applications process because it supports the council and the planning department to make informed decisions on various forms of construction, local regeneration requirements and the needs of our citizens.

Piero Matassoni, Information Officer (GIS), SIIT Team, said: "I worked in partnership with the NRS Service Development Team to look at the specific data requirements of the Planning and Building Standard Departments case management system - which stores all the data for planning applications. This could only be accessed by Planning Officers or other authorised users, meaning if other council departments were looking for information, they would have to put a request into the team to get the data they needed."

"I worked with the team to implement a Geographic Information System (GIS) solution, a digital mapping tool which merges with the data in the case management system - creating easy to view charts and insights into our communities.  Now the team has a real time view of the work, volume, location, demands and details of what they are delivering at any one time.  It also provides a self-service solution for sourcing and sharing data across multiple council departments - ensuring more evidence-based decision making."

Sara Shaw, Head of Planning, said: "There have been a number of benefits to integrating GIS with our case management system - the data is available on a map and is live, this helps us to monitor and track ongoing proposals and make this available to Councillors and communities. For example, as part of this work a visual dashboard was created for Major Planning Applications, and another for our Weekly List of all incoming applications; this displays by electoral wards used to update councillors, and Community Council wards.

Both dashboards show live information at any time and are map based rather than a list which is more engaging and shows information across boundaries. It also shows information for the last 10 years, supporting the forecasting of future trends and demands."


Stephen Sprott, Project Manager, SIIT: Supporting Ukrainians in our city

DMAD - Stephen Sprott

Teams across Social Work/GCHSCP, NRS and SIIT are working together to look at the increasing pressures and demands for housing across the city and how this can be best managed.  As part of this work, there was a requirement to provide a live picture of the Ukrainian Displaced Persons (UDP) in the city and their housing needs.

Stephen Sprott,Project Manager, SIIT, said:"Various teams from across the council family are working in partnership to support displaced Ukrainians that arrive in the city. This involves capturing important data as soon as they arrive to make sure they have access to the right support at the right time, for example age, where they are accommodated, are they hosted by Glasgow families, are they being supported financially, have they moved on, if so where to - enabling a household profile to be created.  This data is critical to our decision making and helps to prioritise our plans around their accommodation needs, alongside future education, finance and job requirements."

"Through supporting displaced Ukrainians, the large volumes of data we capture needs to be maintained and shared across multiple Services to make sure the right solutions are put into place.  The SIIT Data Team supported this process by implementing a technical solution, Microsoft Power BI platform - which merges different data sources together into a single database which then creates an easy to view graphs or charts of the data.  The platform helps to give us a timely 'data driven' picture of Ukrainians in Glasgow."

"Using this platform has improved the way in which we can share our housing data across multiple council departments.  It has provided senior management teams with a way to view and analyse data in one place - to make more informed decisions around the overall housing demand and supply in the city now and over the next couple of years. The system has also allowed us to provide a more responsive service to meet the immediate needs of Ukrainians currently residing in Glasgow and is helping to support longer term plans for jobs and education needs."

Margaret Murphy, Catering Assistant, St Maria Goretti Primary School.

DMAD - Margaret Murphy

"Data is incredibly important to my role as a school catering assistant.

Every day I record the number of menu items that have been prepared on a product control sheet. This information that I gather helps us to identify which products have been popular with the children in the canteen that day. The data helps us to make informed future menu decisions to make sure the children are served healthy and nutritious meals each week.

Keeping our children happy and well fed is our primary aim and if we didn't collect this data we wouldn't know which items were the most popular to help us create a health and varied menu."

Billy Tweddell, Dispatcher, Eastgate, London Road.

DMAD - Billy Tweddell

Fly tipping is the illegal dumping of waste onto land that has no licence to accept it - it can be as little as one bin bag of household rubbish up to larger quantities such as piles of tyres or even bulky construction waste.

I use data and images from our Public Space CCTV network to cross reference with data and images of fly tipping submitted by members of the public - which are logged into our Remedy system. The images I use provide visual verification of the data in the system and provide an exact location of where the fly tipping has taken place - this creates a more joined-up approach to tackling this issue.

Having access to these data sources enables me to verify the information quickly and efficiently which helps to make sure our council resources are then targeted at the right locations - so we can deal with issues in a timely and effective manner.

The data I use daily is essential to identifying areas of concern and helps our Service teams assess the appropriate course of action that is required. I work in partnership with colleagues in Cleansing, Enforcement and Graffiti Removal to achieve the best outcomes for the city. By working together we help to keep Glasgow clean and a safe place for all our citizens.

Ben Hardie, Team Member, Revenues and Benefits, Financial Services.

DMAD - Ben Hardie

The Revenues and Benefits Team uses data to help support and issue payments to families who are eligible to receive the School Clothing Grant.

In my role, I obtain data from internal sources such as, our Council Tax System to help to identify families who are eligible to receive the School Clothing Grant to purchase school uniforms. By sourcing and using this data I can make sure that the grant payment is made in advance of the new term starting in August - to help families plan ahead.

The accuracy of the data I use is essential to make sure that any families, who are eligible, receive the right financial support they need to purchase their child's uniforms. The data we use as a team allows us to make payments to over 30,000 families per year.

Donna Thomson, Reablement Home Carer Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership

DMAD - Donna Thomson

"We look after people who have spent time in hospital recovering from injuries and illnesses and need our support to help them get better and get their independence back.

I use key data every day to help me carry out my job to support others.

Handling and using accurate information is incredibly important to my role. Not only do I need to know where I'm going and who I am going to visit, but I also need to understand how to handle sensitive information to help aid their recovery - such as what their illnesses are, their current medication and their previous hospital visits.

I work with a lot of vulnerable people and without key information we would not be able to deliver our services to them. Information is vital to delivering a positive experience for the service user - for example understanding their likes and dislikes can make a real difference to helping them on their road to recovery.

The data I handle everyday makes a difference not only to the service user but also to feedback to their family members about how their loved one are doing on a particular day."

Staff events 

11 October 2023: come along and find out how data can help you make a difference.

Data underpins everything we do as a council - it supports both our policy and operational decision making helping us to design, deliver and transform our services to citizens. Using better and accurate data can help to improve lives as well as drive efficiencies within current financial constraints.

We all need to better understand the value of collecting, processing and using data across the organisation as data really does make a difference and is at the heart of everything we do. 

About the Event

  • Join us at 10am on 11 October 2023, Satinwood Suite, City Chambers

We are inviting you to join us at a free event where you can find out more about how we have been using data to make a difference.  It will also provide you with the opportunity to consider how you can make better use of data and the support available to you.

You will hear from a number of Service areas who will showcase where data has made a difference to the services they provide, including NRS, Chief Executive's and Health & Social Care Partnership.

There will also the opportunity to attend live demonstrations for data driven solutions including housing, economic development, planning and financial inclusion.

The event is open to anyone in the organisation who uses data in their role, from senior and operational managers to data collectors and analysts.

The event will run for approximately 45 mins followed by the opportunity to attend live demos for a number of data driven solutions.  We hope to see you there. 

To attend

The event is free and informal and there is no need to register - simply send an email to telling us that you would like to attend.

Posters - for your local area

pdf icon Data Makes a Difference - Billy [2Mb]

pdf icon Data Makes a Difference - Ben [1Mb]

pdf icon Data Makes a Difference - Margaret [1Mb]

Our Data Maturity Assessment

In January 2023 with support from the Government, we took part in a Data Maturity Assessment. The feedback from this will provide us with the opportunity to identify and understand the different types of data that we handle each day - as part of our digital transformation strategy.

The assessment will help us to:

  • learn how to make best use of our data - such as looking at trends to help make policy decisions
  • understand how we can work with teams across the council to gather the right information in the right way and at the right time.

Who to speak to if you have a question about data - your local champion

Across the council we have a dedicated representative in each Service area who is your first point of contact for any queries regarding how to get the most out of your data - to improve a process or a service for example.

Service Data Champions

Chief Executive's Department

Kimberley Hose

Stephen Sprott

Katie Forrest

Financial Services

Jacqueline Kerr

Andy Gaffney

Stephen Sawers

Neighbourhoods Regeneration Sustainability

Elaine Parkes

Health and Social Care Partnership

Stewart MacMillan

Adrian MacSween

Education Services

Christina MacDonald

Glasgow Life

Andrew Ferguson

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