With the challenges that COVID-19 is putting on the purse strings of Local Authorities – it is now more important than ever for decisions to be based on real-time, relevant data as the eyes of their constituents will be keenly watching for a slip-up or a wrong move.
But how do you actually achieve this? The material challenge that every authority is facing is deciphering fact from fiction and sifting the relevant data from the irrelevant data. Every business, and Local Authorities are no different, has access to a plethora of information that if analysed and used correctly could potentially change their way of thinking and enable key strategic decisions to be made quickly and effectively whilst at the same time reducing the risks involved in getting it wrong.
Technology, and particularly strategies commonly referred to as a “Digital Transformation Program” have completely transformed the wider business environment. At a departmental level there is a huge amount of information that would provide a valuable insight into how efficiently and effectively a particular area is performing against core KPIs and therefore help the executive teams to ensure that the correct funding decisions are made. Harnessing the analytical power and capability of Power BI can help authorities to actually unlock that information about not only their themselves, but also their customers with far greater transparency and accuracy than ever before.
Every year authorities have had to look hard at HOW it can deliver their own services in more effective and efficient way with a far reduced pot of available cash, but this is becoming much more important now in a post-COVID world. Power BI can deliver material benefit across every function of local government:
- Human Resources – utilising employee productivity analysis, payroll monitoring and insights into new working practices and behaviours
- Finance – tracking in real time, weekly, monthly, quarterly spend and identifying variances quicker through simulation analysis
- Real Estate – just what is the real cost versus return on capex investments, operating expenses and revenue generation per square metre versus investment of council funds
- Executive leadership- enabling costs to be brought down, investments targeted into the areas of biggest return and identification of what to cut back and the absolute impact of this decision
When you harness the full capability of Power BI it can provide you with unprecedented reporting and analytical muscle. If planned and implemented properly it can analyse data quickly and efficiently from a wide variety of sources thereby helping decision makers spot specific trends and provide a valuable insight into what is actually happening. Pulling data automatically and seamlessly from an ever-increasing number of systems and programs, it can make educated predictions built on machine learning and simultaneously produce easy to read visual simulations thereby enhancing any real-time dashboards that you may currently be using.
In summary, Local Authorities face an unenviable challenge in this post Covid 19 world. Success or failure will be based on an Authorities ability to make the right decisions, at the right time, based on the right information – and to achieve this they must understand the context of the information being provided as well as be sure that the quality of that data is as high as it can be. Time can be an enemy to a Chief Executive, especially when there are critical, time sensitive decisions to be made and they have to wait for reports to be compiled across multiple departments. On many occasions by the time the Chief Executive has received the reports they need, the information is already out of date making it somewhat of a lottery, and whilst they can’t afford to wait, they also can’t afford to be wrong either.
The benefits to be had by using the information that you already have immediately and in an easy to analyse, easy to understand format cannot be underestimated. The ability for you to make time sensitive, business critical decisions is there for the taking – the time is NOW, using Power BI for the people.