Two IBM resellers have joined forces to help the London Borough of Camden become more efficient through a new big data project.
The reseller duo created the IBM analytics-based Residents Index, which the council claims will help it reduce crime and save both time and money. The authority set aside cash to invest in the pair's offering in the hope of saving money in the long run.
The Residents Index is a database of information about everyone living in the area which is collected by the council once and used on multiple occasions. The data is "stored and managed appropriately" across 16 locations across the city.
The project took just three months for IBM and its partners to roll out and has already had tangible results, according to Camden councillor Theo Blackwell. He said the new tech prevents parents from fraudulently applying for school places at top schools.
"Parents complain about people gaming the system by pretending to reside in the borough to get their kids into the most sought-after schools," he said. "Now with the Residents Index in place, council staff can carry out detailed checks and identify previously hidden discrepancies in the information supplied to the council to prove residency. We have already withdrawn five school places from fraudulent applicants, making sure that school places fairly go to those who are entitled to them.
"The Residents Index has proven its worth, helping the council to become more efficient, and now contains over one million relevant records. This is just one example and we have other plans to use the benefits of data technology to improve public services and balance the books."
The IBM offering is also helping the London borough compile a better electoral register, the council said, claiming that so far it has been able to fast track 80 per cent of its residents during the registration process so far.
"IBM is helping the UK public sector transform public services by providing technology that will unlock the power and potential of the data it holds to help achieve significant efficiency savings," said Tony Ellis, IBM public sector data specialist.
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