Hammersmith and Fulham links 11 databases to boost customer service


Hammersmith and Fulham links 11 databases to boost customer service

Rebecca Thomson

The London borough of Hammersmith and Fulham has linked 11 databases across council departments to improve the service it offers to residents.

The council, which won an award at the Socitim local government conference last week, has installed a data-matching system Multiview from Visionware to build up a single database of borough residents.

It is using Mosaic from Experian to group residents, according to income levels and other characteristics.

"The system matches data from different departments, so we can get a clear understanding of who our customers are and what they use," said Jackie Hudson, head of IT strategy.

The system has allowed the council to analyse the demongraphics of the borough. It found that 51% of residents are "well-off professionals" who want web and phone interaction, and 30% are classed "deprived", and want more face-to-face contact. The remainder use a mixture of the two types of services.

The analysis has allowed the council direct resources at the most-used services, and produce a long-term strategy for service development.

"It creates a more difficult technical environment to manage because of all the different systems, but there have been no big problems," said Hudson.

The council has installed middleware software from Microsoft, to shares data between different departments - so if social services are told of a change in circumstances, other systems will also be updated.

Each department has a different system, for example, council tax and revenue and benefits both run on an Academy system from Capita, and social services run on case-management system Framework by Corelogic.

The council won the Local Government IT Excellence Awards at last week's Socitm conference with the project, Charles Ward, chief operating officer at Intellect, and one of the judges, said, "There is a commitment to using technology to deliver beneficial and lasting change."

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