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DATA SCIENCE OPENS A DOOR FOR CHILDREN'S AND YOUNG PEOPLE'S SERVICES

Friday 20 September 2019 Data Insight & Analytics

Marc Radley's picture
By Marc Radley

Analytics can make a world of difference to social outcomes.

Creating a safe environment where communities, schools and families can thrive is a commitment of every individual that works with children and young people (CYP). However, ensuring this commitment to a better society comes into fruition is a challenge.

This crucial benefit alone must bring ethical data science to the head of the multi professional services agenda. But there are further system-wide advantages that could help improve outcomes and the right support for society on a large scale.

 

EFFECTIVE USE OF DATA

There are many things that contribute to the wellbeing of society as a whole. Regardless of what those things might be, there is one strong common theme across them all. They all produce large amounts of representative data.

These data and the information that can be created could allow public servants and organisations to not only better understand the complexity of the issues they deal with on a daily basis, but also map ways of improving vital service delivery to society.

However, with so much data being collected other problems arise. What does the data represent, did we get the whole story and what difference did we make. The focus of data capture and the lack of connectivity between databases is also problematic. Meaning that the vital organisational information resource ends up fragmented, and stories and insight are lost in endless amount of process category and number.

 

 

Now, imaging for a moment that all data collected by the organisations that a young person comes in contact could be joined up and tells the whole story as well as be easy to analyse and tracked, creating a full view of their experiences and journey. Allowing professional to understand patterns of behaviour, chains of events and calculate prevention of the likely outcomes. Furthermore, useful and accurate information and knowledge could be shared securely among schools, case workers, hospitals and the police, helping leaders shape resources and actions to prevent perilous situations.

This crucial benefit alone must bring ethical data science to the head of the multi professional services agenda. But there are further system-wide advantages that could help improve outcomes and the right support for society on a large scale.

 

COLLABORATIVE DATA SCIENCE: A GAME CHANGER IN CYP SERVICES

With combined intelligence gained from data held by more than one organisation, capacity can be better managed in local authority areas. Insights from the data can give local partnerships greater confidence to invest in preventative approaches. They can use better information and put in place a mixture of changes to policy and practice to tackle issues earlier. More accurate tracking of the impact means they can adjust these sooner to optimise the results and achieve best value and use of resources.

 

 

New data analysis tools and approaches use “system dynamics” to make predictions and “artificial machine learning and optimisation” to reveal hidden patterns and opportunities. These use every drop of knowledge and representative data to assist managers and practitioners get things right on the ground and to adapt flexibly to changing demand and circumstances.

It’s not just a question of dealing with today’s caseload demands. Data science can help pinpoint unmet needs and enable applied knowledge to resolve problems before they happen. Sophisticated, well-disseminated and understood insight supports smart commissioning and decision-making, promoting and rewarding proactive practice and measures rather than reacting to urgent and unclear needs.

A recent report from Nesta suggests these methods are highly relevant to better outcomes in Children’s Services. The report highlights that much of the work of commissioners and front-line professionals (including teachers and support workers) involves complex decision-making, based on both statistical and historical data and qualitative (non-numeric) assessments and reports.

Using powerful data science tools and collaborative methods to interpret from these diverse data stream sources can produce very powerful and timely insights. You can use these to shape thinking towards more effective case decisions and the implementation of services with far-reaching, positive impacts.

If you’d like to find out more about how collaborative data science can transform outcomes in your Children and Young People’s organisation and beyond, get in touch with one of our experienced consultants.

 

Organisations produce large volumes of data. However, when not used effectively, the whole story behind the data is not captured. Using effective techniques such as collaborative data science helps use information better, reach solutions within a shorter time period, predict shortcomings and make better decisions, thus leading to more optimal results in Children’s and Young People Services.

DATA SCIENCE OPENS A DOOR FOR CHILDREN'S AND YOUNG PEOPLE'S SERVICES