DWP signs £2m data deal to better understand ‘citizen point of view’

Departmental analysts are working on a project to integrate data sets and derive new insights

Credit: Vicki Hamilton/Pixabay

The Department for Work and Pensions has signed a £2m contract with a specialist supplier that will support work over the coming months to integrate data sets in order to gain greater understanding of the “citizen point of view”.

Senior officials in the DWP’s Data and Analytics (D&A) function are leading a project intended to help the department obtain better insights into its workload, performance, and challenges faced. The exercise was launched in light of the pressures placed on the department during the coronavirus crisis, according to newly published commercial information.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has caused an unprecedented surge in demand [for] DWP’s services, resulting in a hugely increased operational workload across the department,” said a the DWP, in a procurement notice. “This, in turn, has demanded significant changes to the way that we deliver our services, and how we generate and monitor evidence of productivity and customer experience changes, and use them to try new ways to achieve the department’s outcomes. To help tackle these challenges, DWP’s D&A senior leadership and lead analysts from the analyst community have specified a programme of activity needed to develop new operational insight which relies, [in] large part, on better integrating existing data assets.”

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A key objective of this data-integration work will be to collate information in a way that allows officials to understand citizens’ experience of the department – particularly where it cuts across multiple services.  

The notice added: “No data set exists in the department which reflects, from a citizen point of view, all the interactions they have had across one or many channels, lines of business and customer journeys – plus the business-processing steps, and the outcomes. This means we lack the ability to see agent productivity or customer experience that would enable us to more dynamically manage resourcing or [provide] earlier forms of intervention to prevent failure demand.”

In a commercial engagement headed ‘Citizen Event History – Analytics’, the department has retained the services of software consultancy Scott Logic, which will support the work of DWP data and analytics professionals.

The firm signed a nine-month contract with the department on 23 June. The deal is expected to be worth about £2.1m to the Newcastle-headquartered firm.


Sam Trendall

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