Transforming the public sector using geospatial insight
‘X’ no longer marks the spot
Almost all data generated today has some form of geographical reference. Analysing data from a geographical perspective can help organisations paint a more detailed picture of the issues and events that affect public service delivery.
A-level results, crime statistics and even well-being survey data can all be tied to a location and plotted on a map.
Our digital world would have been the envy of many ancient civilisations who struggled to create even the simplest representations of the planet’s geography. We have become masters of cartography, capable of crafting maps that show places and things and other abstract concepts in precise detail and in various hues.
Geospatial analytics should, therefore, be radically transforming the public sector. However, the explosion of data – from official sources as well as from the proliferation of smartphones, social media updates and the vast array of internet-enabled devices – presents challenges and opportunities that cannot be resolved with cartographic skills alone.
While the fundamentals of mapping have never been more important, geospatial insights can only be uncovered by more sophisticated analysis, which is now being enabled by greater access to tools and skills, and through instruments such as the Public Sector Mapping Agreement for Ordnance Survey data.
This paper presents a step-by-step approach, illustrated with examples, to help public sector organisations understand how geospatial analysis can be used to derive insights that:
- Focus on efficiency and deliver cost-savings
- Improve service quality and effectiveness
- Engage the public
- Enable collaboration with other organisations.
Analysing data from a geographical perspective can help organisations paint a more detailed picture of the issues and events that affect public service delivery. Connecting seemingly disparate data points by referencing their location can reveal the relationships between public services, businesses and citizens.
The context of place is a universal language that everyone can understand, enabling organisations to cut through the noise, break down data silos and get to the root causes of the challenges they face. In short, public sector bodies can use location data to develop geospatial insight that reshapes how decisions are made.