We generate and receive a huge amount of information. As such, information is one of our key assets and this strategy sets out our aims how we will manage the creation, storage and sharing of information to ensure that we get the most out of it.

The Information Strategy affects the entire organisation. It covers all information that the organisation creates, owns, collects and holds in paper and electronic format. It covers access by the public, staff, Councillors and partners. We have recently reviewed and revised our strategy and below are the main points from the 2013 strategy. A full copy is available for download.

The vision

Our customer vision is to make it easy for anyone to access services where and when they need them. The Information vision to support this, is to provide accurate, relevant, timely and consistent information to anyone who needs it, who has authorisation to access it, in a cost-effective and efficient manner.

The information you need, at any time, accessible from anywhere.

What will the future look like?

For the public

  • The public can easily find information on services they require online.
  • We are open and transparent and customers are able to make informed decisions on service choice, influence future services and hold the Council to account.
  • When customers inform us of a change of circumstances we are able to automatically update our systems and share with other relevant public sector systems to avoid repeating the changes.
  • We have integrated our services with personal data stores that put the control of key personal data where it should be – with the customer.
  • Customers can access their own personal data and see the progress and outcome of service requests.

For staff

  • Information management principles and practices have been embedded in the organisation through training, culture and effective system design.
  • We value customer information and protect it, so potential breaches of personal data security are extremely rare.
  • It much easier to find the information we are looking for in our electronic filing systems because we describe our information effectively and have good tools for retrieving it.
  • Management information is easy to access, through dashboards and through common reporting tools to inform policy and service planning.
  • Our automated business processes routinely collect performance information to support continuous process improvement and to help us manage our services more effectively.
  • We are able to use summarised and consolidated data to redesign, target and streamline our services.
  • We have established a single source of truth for all our information assets, key staff and customer information is held in one place.

For our partners

  • We share information to deliver a more streamlined service to the public and improve their outcomes.
  • Data is regularly published for transparency to allow partners to plan services and organisations to deliver new services.

Delivering the vision

Delivery of the vision over the next few years requires significant work across a range of overlapping areas of information management. Actions will be delivered through the organisation’s annual Business Plans. Our overall aims  are to:

  • create and maintain an overall information architecture to support the design of information systems and processes
  • build information governance as standard in our processes and systems for both paper and electronic information
  • enable access to information and knowledge-based decision making using reliable information and effective tools
  • improve education to make the management and use of information a core responsibility for all.

Information principles

We have a new set of Information Principles that will guide our development of systems, processes and services, that closely link to our WCC ICT Strategy:

  • Public information is open by default
  • Citizens and Businesses can access information about themselves
  • Service information is shared
  • Information will be secured according to risk
  • Information is stored digitally
  • Knowledge is captured and used
  • Information is fit for purpose
  • Information is standardised and usable
  • Information is owned and managed