Building a sense of community is important for local authorities, but residents won’t feel that ‘community spirit’ if their communications with their council are impersonal, distant, and frustrating. Every department should be able to access centralised data on residents, so that no matter who is dealing with a citizen’s enquiry, they have all of the information they need: not just to deal with the issue at hand, but to communicate with the resident in a personal, considerate way.
Some of your residents will use your services for sensitive matters: for instance, social care, health and wellbeing. If vulnerable people are contacting your council, they should be able to expect the same level of care and sensitivity whether they are contacting you about their refuse collection or important social care concerns. Using data effectively means that you can give accurate background information on vulnerable citizens to employees across the business. Tightening up data in this way is also a valuable safeguard against people, or critical information relating to them, ‘falling through the cracks.’