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Data + People + Action = ecda

The success of Essex Data - Essex County Council, Essex Police and the University of Essex’s three-year pilot to better understand the potential of tackling issues through smarter use of data - has generated powerful insight on some of our most challenging issues such as escalating domestic abuse, school readiness, gangs, violence and vulnerability.

By sharing pseudonymised data from partners to create a detailed picture of local places and combining this with what our communities told us about their experiences living and working in their neighbourhoods, compelling evidence was produced to identify communities that could benefit from early intervention approaches. The insight enabled Councils, Police, health and voluntary service providers, schools and parents, volunteers and members of Essex communities to join to plan, design and deliver services in partnership to achieve maximum impact for those most in need.

Councils, Police, the Office of Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner and the voluntary and community sector have used the insight generated to recommission domestic abuse services for 2019; inform HMI strategic assessments; substantiate more than £3 million of funding bids for partnership work; inform Ofsted assessments; and guide the review of domestic abuse service providers; all transforming public services to achieve more with less and create great places to grow, live and work.

To further build upon this success, and embed data driven decision-making within the system, we have set a new ambition to make Essex national leaders using the power of data science and artificial intelligence to plan and prevent future risk. To achieve this, we have created the Essex Centre for Data Analytics, also known as ecda.

The Essex Centre for Data Analytics’ philosophy is ‘Driven by knowing, not by thinking.’ That means ecda is focused on bringing together, and ethically sharing data, to help us generate new insight that will inform how we plan our future together. Ensuring the people of Essex are at the heart of the opportunities for our county unites us, so that together we can; share our skills, knowledge and expertise; make decisions that will amplify all that is good about our county; and deliver action that creates the kind of Essex we all want to live, learn and work in.

With a focus on prevention, Essex County Council, Essex Police and the University of Essex have agreed a series of shared problems for ecda to support during 2019-20 including; avoidable A&E attendances; unsafe business operations; physical inactivity; mental health crisis; and homelessness, on which to   share data that will deliver insight to guide decisions and services that can be implemented early to prevent issues from escalating.