London Borough of Brent Puts Customer First

Published on 30-Nov-2010

Validated on 07 Oct 2013

"When it came to ‘putting the customer first,’ we had a major challenge. Because their information was scattered across numerous standalone departmental silos, we didn’t actually know who our customer was " - Tony Ellis, CIO of The London Borough of Brent

Customer:
London Borough of Brent

Industry:
Government

Deployment country:
United Kingdom

IBM Business Partner:
Northgate Information Solutions Limited

Overview

The London Borough of Brent serves approximately 270,000 citizens in northwest London. In early 2007, Transformational Government mandated a call for a greater focus on the customer, budget reductions of 3 per cent year-on-year, and an increased emphasis on regionally shared services.

Business need:
Create a Master Client Index using the core council IT systems, clean up duplicate and fragmented files, improve operational efficiencies and provide compliance to the Data Protection Act.

Solution:
Deploy Initiate® software to develop a councilwide customer data hub with consolidated back-end systems to help reduce administration costs, improve customer service and miminise benefit fraud.

Benefits:
Over 1.5 million records for 270,000 citizens matched and linked from nine different databases. Provided a real-time view of each customer’s data and streamlined operational efficiencies.

Case Study

The London Borough of Brent serves approximately 270,000 citizens in northwest London. In early 2007, Transformational Government mandated a call for a greater focus on the customer, budget reductions of 3 per cent year-on-year, and an increased emphasis on regionally shared services.

At the time, Brent’s customer information was scattered across numerous standalone departmental silos, and 30 per cent of their population changed their addresses every year. They already had a customer relationship management (CRM) system that could capture profiling data at the point of contact, but it was not able to link into back office systems or share data across the enterprise.

Biggest Challenge: Bringing Data Together
Brent’s biggest challenge was the task of gathering data from more than nine disparate sources and creating a single master record. Their data was cluttered with duplicate files and fractured, incomplete information due to misspellings and other errors. Clearly, cleaning up the data and creating a Master Client Index would be no easy job. In March of 2007, Brent decided upon Initiate Systems to supply the customer data integration / master data management (CDI / MDM) software to perform the task. Working together with Northgate Information Solutions Limited, Brent deployed the Initiate® software to develop a Client Index that was non-invasive to Brent’s existing system.

“When it came to ‘putting the customer first,’ we had a major challenge. Because their information was scattered across numerous standalone departmental silos, we didn’t actually know who our customer was,” said Tony Ellis, CIO of The London Borough of Brent.

Northgate quickly worked with Brent to develop a Client Index aimed at addressing the government requirement for next-generation data management. The Client Index brought together over nine different databases containing both customer-facing and back office data into a comprehensive, real-time, accurate, single view of each customer.


Brent Reaps The Benefits
By integrating information across all departments, from council tax to benefits, housing, education, library and electoral services, the London Borough has projected substantial savings over the next five years. Service benefits have already been seen across all the Borough’s business areas, including customer profiling and increased fraud detection.Demonstrating thought leadership, Brent set up and chairs a UK local government Best Practice group called Data Connects which has developed an MDM Return on Investment model for UK local authorities.

The Client Index helps Brent to reduce administration costs, improve their customer service and miminise benefit fraud and budget overspend. It also helps to predict future service needs, enable targeted service delivery, improve operational efficiency and monitor performance targets. Finally, the Client Index serves as the customer database for Brent’s CRM system and provides a single point of change of circumstance with one council database simultaneously alerting all others.

As a result, Initiate® software provided the following key attributes that contributed to the success of The London Borough of Brent:
Accuracy – Initiate has the most accurate algorithms for finding, matching and deduplicating data in the industry so Brent could provide a single view of their citizens to other governmental departments
Performance and Scalability - Initiate’s high performance and scalability enabled Brent to unify 1.5 million records across nine disparate systems for 270,000 citizens
Un-Matched Experience – Initiate and Northgate teamed with The London Borough of Brent to address their next generation of data management requirements and build a master database from their core council IT systems
Value - And lastly, Initiate enabled Brent to bring together customer-facing and back office data into a comprehensive, single view of their customer, streamlining operational efficiencies

“All councils have a major problem tracking their population levels,” said Ellis. “Because the Client Index gives us an accurate real-time picture of all our customers, we can ensure the council is able to claim its full entitlement to government grants, can pro-actively reallocate resources when needed, and has the information it needs to provide efficient customer-centric services. While it may be difficult to quantify the cost of bad data, the availability of accurate customer information promises major budget savings. In addition to the financial savings, the project also enables us to provide higher quality services to all of our customers.”

To learn more about how Initiate Systems can help you solve your master data management challenges, visit www.Initiate.com.

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Software:
IBM Initiate Master Data Service

Legal Information

© 2010 Initiate Systems, Inc. “Initiate” and the Initiate logo are registered trademarks in the United States and certain foreign jurisdictions. Initiate, Initiate Master Data Service and the Initiate logo are registered trademarks in the United States and certain foreign jurisdictions. Initiate Inspector is a trademark of Initiate Systems.