Councils need to work harder on digital development, survey says

A gap exists between the digital aspirations of council CEOs and the public’s perception of digital council services, according to PwC’s sixth annual survey, the Local State We’re In 2016.

The survey of nearly 100 chief executives and local authority leaders across the UK found that 76% of chief executives and 74% of council leaders agree that their councils are embracing the opportunities new technologies offer, up from 60% and 70% respectively in 2015.

However, that confidence is not reflected in the public opinion, which has decreased over the past two years from 29% to 23%. Equally the public’s trust in local government to handle personal data stands at just 30%, (a decrease of 5% since 2015).

The survey also found that less than half of chief executives (48%) are confident in their approach to digital security.


Data analytics

PwC also urged council leaders to encourage staff to become more dynamic and proactive and build capacity around data and analytics.

While 91% of chief executives and council leaders say they are confident of their capabilities in data analytics, a much lower proportion are using analytics to inform decision making and strategy, according to PwC’s research.

Chris Buttress, PwC partner and local government leader, said: “Data analytics and business intelligence will be more and more critical for councils in the next five years: intelligent analysis of their data will help them form new priorities, smarter interventions as well as better, more informed choices and efficient ways of working.”

The full report can be downloaded here

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