Dartford Borough Council, Dartford, Kent (January 2002 January 2005)

Data Analysis Officer - Set up data capture systems that enabled reporting and monitoring of Government statistics. HouseMark benchmarking and satisfaction analysis such as the mandatory STATUS. A void standard analysis saved 300,000.

My final year dissertation was a study looking at to what extent Local Authorities were 'masters' of their own housing stock. On leaving University, I wrote to all the Housing Strategy Managers who kindly participated in the qualitative element.

 

Happily Andrew Palmer,  Strategy Manager for Dartford placed me within the IT section of his Housing Department. I shall always be very grateful to Andrew for the once in a lifetime chance that he gave, and later recommending me for my sponsored MA.

While a data analysis by job title, I was given many tasks that allowed my skills to develop, they include:

 

  • Responsible for the accurate reporting of all Dartford Councils mandatory returns to the government (ODPM)

    Successful completion of the HIPS/ HSSP/ Future Plans and Best Value statistics required detailed knowledge of the organisations management structure as to who should be responsible for the provision of performance statistics. Timely and diplomatic notice had to be managed. I constructed a spreadsheet based solution called 'The matrix' by Barbara Barton, my line manager.

     

  • The comparative monitoring of Dartford's Best Value performance outturns

    At the request of the Housing manager, my spreadsheet based Best Value comparison between Dartford and 'family' group councils contained 'Traffic Light' visual aids (probably the first in the country).

     

  • HouseMark Benchmarking

    I co-ordinated the benchmarking of the council using my validated statistics and network of relevant managers. Benchmarking meant full membership of HouseMark after 8 years of association.

     

  • Central and Local Government Information Partnership (CLIP) (use the browser 'BACK' button to close)

     

    I attended all Housing Statistic related meetings, including government. It was during my first meeting that Bruce Olemann, then head of CLIP asked me to join.

     

  • Commendation from the ODPM's Chief Housing statistician.

    My statistical analysis and methodologies led to my correcting records from recent archives. This allowed for deeper performance knowledge and forecasts. However, these amendments could not be entered into the governments self validating web based return method (similar to that now used by HMRC). With my managers consent, I asked the ODPM if they would accept my amendments-   My manager and I received a commendation email, thanking me for my attention to detail

     

  • STATUS Survey  (use the PDF viewer controls)

     

    Using SNAPS survey system I undertook and evaluated Dartford's first 'in house' STATUS Survey. Showing the benefits of both owning the data and the economies of 'in house' resourcing.

     

  • Voids Standards  Survey

    At the request of the Housing Maintenance Manager, I constructed, sampled and evaluated the survey to determine if new tenants genuinely wanted a completely renovated council house as the council members had decreed over 300 B&Q vouchers. The resulting policy change gained Dartford Council an estimated 300,000 in first year savings!

     

  • The first Local Authority to Link housing stock to GIS mapping!

    I noticed the council was using a GIS program while visiting the planning department. The user confirmed it was capable of spotting a single house! excitedly, I told Andrew of its potential, since Housing stock GIS data is held in our SQL based Academy housing database. The result was the first ever detailed borough plan that (nearly) illustrated the position of each council house! (see Link)

    The 1 Kilometre square 'hole' in the map is due to a defective satellite cell in this primitive system. However, the laminated map was soon to be removed from my office, commandeered by the lettings manager so he could demonstrate why allocation is not available  3 doors away from mother!

     

  • Publications

    I had a regular statistical feature in the councils Tenant news letter and staff magazine

     

  • Maintained the UNIFORM and other SQL databases

    I gave staff training and instruction producing all guides and handouts 

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