Bolton Council

Bolton Council

Bolton’s Data Cell Group (Response to COVID)


Briefly describe the initiative/ project/service; please include your aims and objectives

Bolton Data Cells Group is lead by the Assistant Director for Public Health Lynn Donkin. With her leadership and insight the group was formed as the main multi-partnership “data cell” which aimed to ensure that relevant data was used lawfully for operational and strategic decision making. Information Leadership was a key requirement which was demonstrated by Lynn Donkin, Assistant Director for Public Health who proactively considered all aspects of the required work eg data  sharing; project management; Management Information; IT solutions and wider IG/ lawfulness and data ethics. Lynn Donkin, Assistant Director for Public Health brought together key stakeholders who could rapidly respond to the needs of the Community. Intelligence reports and dashboards were constructed effectively throughout and considered the appropriate use of primary and secondary information.

What are the key achievements?

– Effective and lawful data sharing and security.
– Effective and dynamic information provided to officers so that effective decisions could be made (strategic and operational).
– Effective review and response which directed resources.
– Effective risk assessment.
– Effective production of analytical products.

What are the key learning points?

– The importance of bringing together all key stakeholders and getting things right from the start.
– The importance of providing rich intelligence / Business Intelligence reports.
– The importance of data ethics within public health.
– Responding to societal needs and risks.
– Significant work in leading on producing a data dictionary/ data flow mapping and DPIA.
– Use of enabling technology Power BI to provide a rich understanding of the datasets.
– Bringing together IG, Analysts, and decision makers and the front line staff into one “data cell”.


COVID-19 Response Recognition Award

The data cell meeting has proactively ensured that relevant data was lawfully shared and used. It meant that we could coordinate the work and provide intelligence to other groups so that we could respond dynamically. Lynn Donkin, Assistant Director for Public Health provided that clear “information” leadership.