Do you have brain data?

A cultural shift involving AI and the Internet of Things promises significant benefits, writes Andy Venter, public sector manager at HSO. Sponsored commentary from HSO.

Have you ever found yourself nagging the kids to turn off the bathroom or bedroom light? Boring, isn’t it? First is the cost of lighting a room without occupants. Then there is wasted energy.

Andy Venter, Public Sector Manager at HSO

Harrow LBC recently saved £1million a year in energy costs associated with running streetlights by solving this type of problem. Just without the kids.

Using built-in sensors, Harrow connected the lamps to artificial intelligence. Sensors provided data to the AI ​​which analyzed the information to manage when the lights turn on or off.

Better management and use of data can even be a matter of life and death.

Sutton LBC saved four lives by transmitting data from Internet of Things (IoT) sensors to emergency services. Sensors tracked patterns and changes in a living environment. If the temperature had not risen beyond a certain point for a period of time, indicating a lack of movement, services were sent to investigate. Faster response times meant saving lives.

With better understanding, data can also drive unusual efficiencies. Suffolk CC saved a significant amount of money by having AI analyze bus route data to identify efficiencies without affecting services.

Better management and use of data can even be a matter of life and death

These are just three examples of data fueling positive change – change that, let’s face it, has been forced on local government in response to the pandemic. At a recent Society of Information Technology Management (Socitm) conference, a chief executive said, “Covid has accelerated the shift to digital consumerism from months and years to weeks and even days.”

It’s fair to say that long before the pandemic hit, local authorities understood the value of data. But there’s a lot of work to be done to bridge silos, align needs, and educate the workforce on why they should care about data. Often, depending on the maturity of your data, getting value from data requires a cultural shift. So where to start ? The key is to know where you are starting from.

A council in the south of England began their data journey with a maturity assessment: three weeks of interviews with 25 stakeholders across the organization. The board got an overview of existing performance and opportunities for improvement. The assessment served as the basis for the development of its data strategy.

However you want to improve service delivery and shape citizen engagement, data will provide the underlying means to do so.

So what is your starting point?

To organize your data maturity assessment, visit:

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