Moray Council has improved its internal customer data and its customer service, thanks to the Data Hub, the Improvement Service’s (IS) online data matching and cleansing service.
The Data Hub is a self-service data matching and cleansing tool provided free of charge to Scottish councils by the IS. Part of the IS’ digital public services portfolio, it can analyse multiple data sources and produce data analysis reports for partner organisations. The aim of the service is to assist organisations in identifying the most accurate and up-to-date records of their customers.
Like many councils, Moray Council has several databases containing customer records spread across various council services. Whilst it operates a central Lagan Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, this doesn’t feed into the records held by individual services or into the online accounts created by customers themselves. The result is that the council can hold several records for a single customer with varying degrees of data accuracy and quality.
Moray Council began using the Data Hub in February 2018 primarily to prevent duplication in its CRM and online myaccount records. Since then, it has extended its use to housing and adult social care records.
Moray Council uses a Lagan CRM system to store its central customer data. Since 2017, it has also offered online customer accounts using myaccount, the simple and secure sign-in service for online public services operated by the IS. With myaccount, customers sign up for an online account which provides access to public services online across a range of public sector organisations.
In order to eliminate duplicate records within its CRM system, the council uses the Data Hub. This not only highlights matched and unmatched data but formats all records to Corporate Address Gazetteer (CAG) standards and can provide UPRNs (unique property reference number) and UCRNs (unique citizen reference number) for each one.
Every two weeks the council extracts data from its CRM system and runs it through Data Hub’s UCRN seeding programme. This matches each customer record with its UCRN. The seeded data is then compared to the myaccount online records and any duplications removed. With the CRM and online systems linked in this way, the council has single, comprehensive record for each customer.
With confidence in the CRM records established, the council has also used Data Hub to match the CRM records with those in its housing system to ensure that the contact details for housing customers are up to date. As the housing team uses text message notifications to remind customers about rent due, appointments etc, it is important that its records are accurate. When a customer updates their contact details with the council, e.g. a new mobile number, it is now matched to the housing records and the housing team informed.
Most recently, the council ran its adult social care records through the Data Hub UCRN seeding programme. This programme not only matches records with UCRN numbers but can check for dates of death against NHSCR records. This helps the council ensure it doesn’t cause distress by sending communications to people who are deceased.
[Data Hub is] an all-round service which is very easy to work with... a very useful tool to carry out data cleansing.
Impact and Results
According to Michael Grant, IT Project Manager at Moray Council, Data Hub has been a key tool in helping the council eliminate duplicate records and in fixing legacy issues. It is “an all-round service which is very easy to work with” and is “a very useful tool to carry out data cleansing.”
Once the data has been cleansed, the provision of UCRNs makes ongoing maintenance easier as the unique identifier means multiple datasets can be matched more quickly. It has allowed Michael and his team to create a single ’golden record’ of customer data.