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  • Writer's pictureTeam Redman

The challenge of fragmented systems when using technology in IPR.

Updated: Jul 19, 2023

Gathering and analysing data for IPR can be challenging. Fragmented systems make it difficult to gather data from multiple sources and centralise it in order to effectively analyse across silos. This makes it difficult to provide management with information that tells an accurate story for data-driven decision-making.

In our latest Insights Report, 58% of NSW IPR Practitioners said that fragmented systems posed the biggest challenge when it came to their council using technology.

Financial systems, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, and complaints databases are just a few examples of the various data sources available. However, the centralisation of valuable data from different sources is necessary to provide a comprehensive picture of the organisation's situation. This is rare among councils.

The research highlighted situations where data was calculated differently by different people, showing that councils struggle to maintain consistency in the analysis and interpretation of information.

To leverage the value from key datasets, councils must clearly understand where their data is stored and how to access it. This requires a significant business intelligence effort to centralise the data and ensure consistency in tracking and collection, along with identifying the appropriate data steward.

To overcome these challenges, organisations should adopt a "report once" approach, where the system reporting on IPR become the corporate record of truth.

"We can't tell people to go look in one place to find stuff. If we want to know how this particular service is travelling, I can't say to a director, 'Here’s where that information is' because it's in 16 different places." - NSW IPR Practitioner

Systems should be designed for users to see their objectives and be able to add data and updates easily. Systems should also make it easy to draw data from other systems to allow for “slice and dice” data analysis across council services. This would ensure consistency in how data is stored, calculated, and analysed and help councils more effectively utilise data to guide activity.

"The data collection process itself is so ridiculously manual. There's a lot of cutting, pasting and dragging stuff out of systems and moving it around. The real ‘integrated’ approach will be difficult simply due to some historical silos within the organisation where plans etc, may have been developed without broad consultation or consideration of other plans/strategies etc.” - NSW IPR Practitioner

Best Practice Tips to overcome these challenges

Implement a system that pulls data into one place for analysis
  • Ensure relevant IPR data is collected and stored in a central location that serves as the authoritative source for that information.

  • Ensure systems allow for simplified analysis, searching, filtering, and visualisations.

  • Intuitive systems ensure staff can easily input their data and view reports in real time to help local government be more agile and responsive.

Develop a standardised data collection process
  • Create a standardised data collection process that is consistent across all data sources to ensure data is accurate and reliable.

  • Aim to compare data across different departments and programs using industry approaches where possible.

  • Define consistent terminology and educate staff to ensure better communication between stakeholders and increase ability to identify areas for improvement or success.

Enable staff to utilise data and visualisations
  • Train staff on how to collect data and analyse and present it simply, as well as ensuring consistency and accuracy in what is being collected and analysed.

  • This will help staff with reporting responsibilities to understand how they can identify trends and patterns that may not have been apparent otherwise.

Uncover all the insights in the latest report - IPR and Technology.

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