This stimulating iNetwork roundtable took place on 26 January.

The discussion explored some leading thinking on insight and intelligence with a wide range of colleagues from councils, police, fire, health and housing organisations joining in at the St Thomas Centre in Manchester.

Key points:
Behaviour change is at the heart of future local public services – this means we need to think differently about our insight and intelligence and consider how we move from a location based insight model to a person based insight model.

This leads to questions like what social groups do people identify with, to what extent is household a proxy for individual, who is successfully managing data protection as we increasingly want individual person insight, not area based insight. Problems with accessing information for public health continue to persist.

There was a disussion on how well we are using location databases which map community assets (buildings), social assets (groups etc) and how this plays into work to manage demand on public services. The consensus was that we could be doing much more as work in Wigan and elsewhere has shown.

Accessing decent data remains the primary obstacle with issues still continuing in areas like public health. This is reticent of difficulties we encouraged in iNetwork’s trying to improve information sharing between maternity services and childrens centres in 2010. Perhaps the devolution agreement in Greater Manchester will provide a means of demonstrating the way ahead on this.

Colleagues talked through the status in their individual organisations and agreed that it would be valuable to continue to share ideas, approaches and knowledge throughout 2015-16.

Useful links:

LG Inform plus –
Info Trafford –
Developments in Access to DWP Data (External Data Sharing Advice Centre) –
2014-15 Open data Funding for Local Government has been allocated. Details here:
N Squared, Public Policy and the Power of Networks by Paul Ormerod: