Old clothes and new data – Camden Town smartens up, and saves £63m in three years
Camden, known for its back-street stalls and alternative night life, has solidified itself as a smart borough using data analytics to save over £63 million over three years. In a bid to improve the lives of Camden’s 240,000 residents, and tattoo-loving tourists, the council has streamlined services such as parking management, benefit provision and council tax administration.
The strategy has also resulted in 45 per cent saving in working hours for the council’s staff.
Supported by data analytics company Qlik, Camden Council has also been making more data available to the public for the benefit of businesses and the community alike, through an open data platform. This data-driven strategy also allows information to be shared with other London boroughs, to co-operate on service provision. Under the umbrella of the Smart London Board and initiatives such as the London Office of Technology and Innovation, Camden Council has also benefited from data sharing and cooperation with SMEs, coders and researchers to develop applications and services, including bespoke planning alerts.
Camden Council first began working with Qlik in 2012, believing the business intelligence specialist could help to facilitate its five-year digital transformation plan. This involved driving significant cost savings, increasing efficiencies and reimagining data usage to enhance the day-to-day lives of residents and the millions of visitors who pass through Camden.
“Our transition to a data-centric organisation has been so successful that we no longer differentiate between our digital and operational strategies,” said Sudip Trivedi, data, analytics and connectivity lead at the London Borough. “Our ongoing focus is now on a building blocks approach to generating and applying better quality data. We believe that the successes we have had in Camden through data integration and sharing with other boroughs should become the template for a wider approach.”
Sean Price, industry solutions director at Qlik, said: “The success of our work with Camden Council is a great example of the transformative impact data analytics can have in the public sector. Data has almost limitless problem-solving capabilities and our work with them has really highlighted how it can make significant cost savings and improve the day-to-day lives of everyday people. There is much that other authorities and organisations can learn from the success in Camden.”
Back in January 2018, London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan declared his ambition for London to the world’s leading smart city, revealing his roadmap in June 2018. Camden’s success shows how quickly the city is moving towards that.