Transform Issue 11 - February 19 Edition

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Trailblazers get stamp of approval At iESE we believe it's important to continually recognise and champion examples of innovation and best practice. That's why now you can apply for an iESE Certificate of Excellence award at any time. An application can be submitted on behalf of a whole organisation, a department or individual project. Unlike our annual Transformation Awards, there are no categories, allowing you to highlight any project you feel deserves recognition


e have awarded five Certificates of Excellence since the inception of the scheme, with the first five given at our Local Government Transformation conference last November. We will recap two winners in each issue of Transform, starting this issue with Insight Bristol and Surrey County Council.

Insight Bristol Insight Bristol has been recognised for its groundbreaking work in developing state-of-the-art analytical tools for use by public sector staff working with vulnerable families. The data analytics team at Insight Bristol, which comprises of Avon and Somerset Constabulary and Bristol City Council staff, has created tools for use by public sector workers with its main work centred around the Think Family Database (TFD). This pulls together data from around 30 different public sector sources to create a diverse dataset covering 54,000 families across the City of Bristol. The database is updated regularly to ensure new and existing information is matched and merged. It is used to assist staff - from those case triaging to frontline workers - to identify ‘at risk’ families and better coordinate support. In addition, Insight Bristol has developed five predictive risk models. These include: a model to help identify Children at risk of sexual exploitation (CSE), potential domestic violence offenders, potential domestic violence victims, people at risk of going missing and a predictive model measuring conduct disorder. The CSE model is actively used by police and has contributed towards the team being nominated for a number of national awards. When first deployed, the CSE model identified 320 young people with a heightened risk of being sexually exploited, many who were not previously flagged as at risk. The Insight team also utilises a piece software called Qlik Sense - primarily a data exploration tool to allow staff to interpret and understand data retained within the TFD. One app, for example, gives managers and commissioners access to aggregated data, allowing them to see geographical trends in

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demand and allowing for a better understanding of how different indicators correlate with each other. This has allowed for identification of trends that could not have previously been identified, more effective allocation of resources and significant efficiency savings. The impact of the Early Help offer from the council, of which the TFD has played a significant role, has had life-changing benefits for families across the city and institutional change in how services approach joint working and supporting vulnerable families. A 2016 analysis of 200 families who accessed Early Help support found a 50 per cent reduction in unauthorised absence from school, a 71 per cent decrease in number of family members being identified as Prolific and Priority Offenders, a 41 per cent reduction in police call-outs to households of supported families, a 73 per cent reduction in the number of adults subject to an anti-social behaviour intervention and a 70 per cent increase in the number of adults in work. Tom Fowler, Data Scientist and Manager of the Insight Bristol Analytics Hub, said: “Receiving the iESE Certificate of Excellence brought a lot of positive attention from our external partners and senior leaders from both Bristol City Council and Avon and Somerset Constabulary. This gave a great validation of the work we have been doing and a positive recognition for the team of their dedication and efforts.”

Surrey County Council (SCC) Surrey County Council (SCC) has partnered with the University of Surrey through a doctoral project to develop a tool capable of supporting commissioning decisions around the organisation's provision for Looked After Children (LAC) and Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) children. The tool, namely a simulated version of SCC’s LAC and SEND placement system based on quantitative and qualitative data from agencies and users, will be developed to enable commissioners to test various “what-if” scenarios and observe the likely effect of a proposed change, or set of changes, on the system

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Left: Harry Angus and Tom Fowler with Dr Andrew Larner Below: Sara Dicerto with Dr Andrew Larner

as a whole. The overall aim is to identify potential areas for system improvement, both in terms of outcomes for children and value for money. System mapping and modelling is a methodological approach which is not usually adopted by local authorities, both because of issues of capacity and of data maturity, especially in large authorities like Surrey. SCC is at the forefront of innovation in this sense, having developed its data maturity through the adoption and the efficient use of systems like the software Tableau, and therefore being in a position to support the quantitative side of system modelling with data from various services. Also, simulations are more frequently adopted in the context of the development of national policy, especially with regard to environmental rather than social policy. SCC believes new standards of work might well be developed out of its approach. A further part of the attractiveness of the project lies in its ability to increase SCC's capacity to apply modelling and simulation to other areas in the future, as it will provide state-of-the-art knowledge of modelling approaches that can be used as a new platform for further transformation. At the end of the project, SCC expects to have made significant progress in terms of its outcomes for children and its financial sustainability. The project officially started at the beginning of October 2018 and is currently in its earliest stage of development. The exact scope and focus of the work over the three-year period will be guided by the SCC leadership. Nevertheless, the project is designed to produce actionable insights long before its deadline. Sara Dicerto, Senior Commissioning Officer Analysis, Surrey County Council, said: “The Analytics Hub is delighted to have been awarded the Certificate of Excellence. We believe this is a great recognition both for a very new team at Surrey County Council and for the role analytics and research can play in the improvement and transformation of local authority services.” ■ To apply for a Certificate of Excellence, visit our website: certificate-of-excellence