But you might take a look at our open data catalogue and think that some datasets are less useful than others. Like our contact centre performance data!
Putting data in the spotlight
So let’s start the other way round, how can we make it easier for people to find out what issues there are across their local area and for council staff to better allocate council resources. Then maybe the data can help after all…
As William Perrin mentions, contact centre data “gives a unique insight into issues the public are contacting the council about and the rate at which they get resolved”. Now we’ve only just started in this area, so our next step will be to try and get live feeds from the contact centre database. Why?
Perrin continues “We should see live data feeds of planning applications coming in and mapped. Where street lights are broken, how long it takes to get them fixed. Where people report broken things in public housing, how rapidly they get resolved. Where the potholes are where the fly tipping happens, where graffiti is cleared up ? the list is endless. That’s where accountability will really happen.”
Developing a civic dashboard
In Birmingham, they are going one step further, developing a Civic Dashboard to show what people are contacting them about through visualising contact centre data. As mentioned in NESTA’s Make it Local blog
“Over time this dashboard shows stories about the city as well as opening up the data for others to use…Human stories emerge from the data. Who wants to know where the nearest public toilet is, and does this mean better signage is needed in that area? Where are the problems with odour and what kind of odours are they?!”
And if you’re thinking that this takes up time for staff, don’t worry because there’s something in it for the council too: “It’s also potentially useful to help allocate council resources to tackle problems and to monitor how many people are contacting the council about the same issues. Is it worth escalating a problem that many people have contacted the council about?”
What could you do with the data?
So leave a comment and let us know how you use this data here and what you think could be done with it. If you’re a developer, tell us what you could develop with it. Maybe you’d like to create a visualisation or even develop a civic dashboard?