With responsibility for so many citizens across a wide range of services, from healthcare and housing to education and transport, contact data management (CDM) and easy access to customer, employee and supplier data is crucial for Surrey County Council.
In order to safeguard vulnerable children and at risk adults from abuse and mistreatment, specifically within social care, it is vital that Surrey County Council has comprehensive and accurate individual data for them and their next of kin, even if they live outside Surrey. With accurate data too, supplier invoices can be paid and service delivery monitored and continued in an efficient way.
The council’s Principal Consultant Enterprise Architect, Ian Coleman, estimates that the organisation has multiple disparate customer databases to administer and maintain Surrey’s high service delivery, potentially containing duplicate and conflicting information about their customers and suppliers. To help Surrey County Council manage this vast amount of data, it uses contact data management software from Experian Data Quality.
Gateway is used across the organisation, but there are three key areas where the software is deployed. The first is in the council’s SAP back-office system, which helps to keep track of vendors, staff and customers. The SAP system uses Gateway to enable access to the NLPG database, which Surrey, like many local authorities, use as their preferred data source and as a minimum address standard. With accurate contact information Surrey can keep track of vendor and staff contact details, invoice payment and service delivery efficiencies.
Whilst the NLPG offers comprehensive coverage of the UK, it is a huge, unwieldy dataset that, in its raw state, is not easily searchable or particularly user-friendly. Gateway acts as a simple interface to the NLPG file for the council across multiple applications, enabling users to quickly and easily interrogate the file.
Gateway will also be used as part of Surrey County Council’s Northgate social care system, enabling the council to manage its social care provision more efficiently and more accurately. The Northgate/Experian Data Quality integration will help the council to manage the care packages it provides for several thousand customers, enabling the organisation to keep track of both customers and care professionals, and ensuring that customer contact details are always accurate and up to date.
Residents who access Surrey County Council services online also benefit from address capture, which supports the council’s web forms, making it quick and easy for customers to enter their address details, and for council staff to verify that these details are correct, further adding to the council’s operational efficiency goals.
The integration of Experian Data Quality software with NLPG has made the gazetteer database much more accessible to Surrey County Council employees.
“Surrey County Council decided to use the NLPG as the standard across the council, but Experian Data Quality helps us to make sense of it,” says Coleman. “It enables easy interrogation and look-up of the data on the NLPG, and we also have the reassurance of knowing that the Experian Data Quality software can work with other data sources. In addition, the Professional Services team at Experian Data Quality are always available to support us and were great to work with when deploying the software.
”The software also plays a valuable role in the council’s social care provision, ensuring that care professionals are sent to the right places, and that the council has accurate contact details for those needing care.
Having successfully deployed Experian Data Quality software across some departments, Surrey County Council is now looking to roll it out further. “We still have some databases that are accessing Postcode Address File (PAF), so we want to move these over to the NLPG using Experian Data Quality,” says Coleman. “It has improved data quality, so it makes sense to deploy the solution across as wide a user base as possible.