The London Borough of Brent is working on a project to provide a single view of residents' data which will allow the council to improve customer service and the overall accuracy of council records.
When complete in November, the project will allow Brent to conduct customer profiling in order to improve council services and offer additional services to residents. It will also help Brent comply with the Data Protection Act, which requires that information stored on an individual should be accurate.
Northgate, which is being implemented the project, will be using the Identity Hub tool from Initiate Systems to build a master database from the core council IT systems including the CRM, housing, benefits, adults, council tax, children services, electoral register, e-forms and library systems.
Tony Ellis, head of ICT at Brent, said the council was keen to store accurate records but keeping records up to date was proving difficult as each of the main IT systems used by Brent had its own customer records. "We did not have joined up cross council information on our customers, everything was in its own silo."
The project has involved mapping out which systems hold the most accurate information. Customer data is extracted from the nine core council systems each night. The Initiate tool then matches customer records from each of these systems and links them together to form a master index of all customer information called the Client Index. Aside from building the master customer record the project also includes identifying change of circumstances eg change of address that have been recorded on council systems. All changes are passed back to council departments to ensure their systems are kept up to date.
Once stage one of the project has been completed in November, Ellis said the council will be able to use this master index as the customer database for its Onyx CRM system. He expects this will improve customer service as users will not need to search multiple systems in order to respond to a customer enquiry.