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New Research from TrueCue Reveals Majority of Local Authorities are Providing Incoherent Data Analytics Training for Staff

Despite 93% of local authorities stating they use data analytics across their organization, new research from UK-based TrueCue, the analytics products and services brand, suggests an overwhelming majority (97%) only provide training for staff “as and when needed.” The findings were part of an investigation to assess the data analytics maturity of local authorities across the UK. The data revealed:

  • Only 29% of local authorities have a clearly defined and centralized data analytics strategy endorsed by senior leadership.
  • Over half (58%) do not have a single, standardized approach to training.
  • When asked what training is provided, 10% let users self-teach using resources they can find, 8% reported using internally delivered courses, 3% train users through third-party courses and 3% invest in self-teaching materials.
  • The research also revealed 44% felt all departments, or most departments, are responsible for their own data analysis and this highlights the siloed, strategic approach within many local authorities.

“While it is encouraging to see local authorities are embracing data analytics, the findings suggest the mechanisms and processes used to integrate data analytics into facets of service delivery could be delivered much more efficiently,” said James Don-Carolis, Managing Director of TrueCue. “Many only have a reactive approach to their analytics strategy and no agreed framework for how or when skills training should be delivered. The bottom line here is that data insights can make a significant difference to the efficiency and quality of services local authorities provide. However, to be wholly effective, data analysis must be underpinned with a coherent training strategy with employees proficiently educated on how to understand and leverage analytics. Responsibility for data management and training can often be pushed onto internal IT teams, but this should not be the responsibility of one department. Buy-in must be company-wide and adhered to from the top down. In doing so, this will allow the local authority to establish a culture of data literacy that fosters a shared community of learning, including workshops with analytics leaders and business stakeholders. Ultimately, if local authorities want to take advantage of their data assets, in optimizing, transforming and operating more efficient and effective services, they need to establish a centralized strategy for data analysis that aligns with the long-term strategic objectives of the organization and supports their wider digital transformation initiatives. A fundamental part of this is implementing effective training and education which are delivered to staff on a regular basis.”

TrueCue recently supported Kirklees Council’s vision of becoming an intelligence-led organization, by building an analytics center of excellence and up-skilling the Kirklees team in the technical and soft skills needed to provide analytics and intelligence for council staff. In light of this, Mike Henry, Head of Intelligence & Performance at Kirklees Council, explains:

“Establishing a new center of excellence has been critical for up-skilling our employees as this has really helped to increase their confidence in using the latest analytics tools. TrueCue has guided us through the development and delivery of a successful training strategy and by working closely with its analytics team, we have been able to positively transform the data and analytics practices across our entire organization. Thanks to this increased level of data maturity, we are now realizing the full benefits of our technology and training investments and look forward to continuing to work with TrueCue as we progress onto the next stage of our data maturity journey.”

(TrueCue submitted Freedom of Information (FoI) requests to 78 local authorities across the UK in total, of which 59 responded).

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