LG Inform and LG Inform Plus: supporting improved performance at Devon County Council
Devon County Council, a leading council in the development of LG Inform continues to be enthusiastic adopter. Initial use ranged from downloading Standard Reports to using Ward Reporting and setting up tailored reports for Devon town areas. This adoption now includes consuming raw data directly via LG Inform’s direct data feed (API).
LG Inform is being used to build a new Corporate Performance Framework that focuses on meeting the information needs of each different audience. Rather than a framework built on traditional levels Devon are using three ‘lenses’ as different ways to help decision makers.
- The ‘Operational’ lens mirrors the traditional performance management process; quantifying what has been done or what resources are available. E.g. How many staff, the potholes filled, length of wait times?
- The ‘Strategic’ lens looks to the attributes in the county Devon may not always directly influence, but tell whether Devon’s work is having an effect and what to worry about. E.g. wages, economic growth, house prices, traffic accidents, health, life expectancy.
- The ‘Community’ lens asks, ‘what does this look like from the point of view of the people affected’? It provides a wider picture of how partners and others are responding to people’s needs and serves to build a better understanding of the impacts of change. It provides a clearer sense of how people feel about local issues.
If LG Inform Plus didn’t exist, Devon might have had to dismantle what they’d already done and collect information all over again. However, by using the API, Devon could bring the data in to their website to build tables and charts. Additionally, as new visualisation platforms are capable of consuming the data via API, this provides a way to automatically pull through regional and national benchmark data to display alongside Devon’s own information saving time and resources.
Councillor Barry Parsons (Cabinet Member for Performance and Engagement) reports;
“I am a great supporter of the direction in which our Performance Framework is progressing and especially delighted for members. The clarity of information is now very evident and helps members to focus on aspects for which they have not always found easy to identify. It makes for especially good Scrutiny and the use of ‘lenses’ for Operational, Strategic, and Community purposes fits much more precisely with the strategic direction of council. I know that members are full of praise for this approach and this is very evident at meetings.”
Lucy Knight (Performance and Strategy Devon County Council) says:
“This is brilliant news for us. It means we can focus on using the best tools for the job - and know that whatever we pick from today’s modern platforms we will still be able to talk to LG Inform to bring us the intelligence we need. We are delighted the LGA has had the foresight to develop such resources as LG Inform and LG Inform Plus and the direct data feed to support us.”
Devon CC framework, Fig 1. Sample dashboard
Fig 2. The underlying data table from the LG Inform API