“DCC came up with an effective plan on how to solve the problems of performance measurement to positively introduce improvements.”
UK Police forces are required by central government to capture performance data related to daily activities. Such information is essential to monitor how forces are performing, the demands on their time, and how more cost-effective methods might be brought in to streamline their budgets and resources. Previous methods of collecting this data included making copious notes throughout the day, an arduous task that often resulted in force members managing their paperwork in larger chunks at a later time, leading to inaccurate and often incomplete data sets. The subsequent processing of this data was either handled manually, or through automated processes that required a huge amount of validation and verification to clean up errors during completion and transcription.’
DCC worked with numerous forces around the country to develop a more streamlined process of capturing information and processing the data. After assessment of the core function of the activity card collection, DCC overhauled the design, labelling each activity either as a core or non-core behaviour and assigning a number to each. Core activities, which related to specific incidents, could then be linked to other actions, such as a stop-and-search and its subsequent linked paperwork. Using this technique, a specific set of business rules could then be applied to the data collected, allowing rapid and simple identification of erroneous information. The process was initially rolled out to a small subset of officers before its application to areas of the wider force, allowing a piloting process to identify any shortcomings or difficulties ahead of significant financial investment.
Through the application of pre-defined business rules, the data could be better qualified, eliminating the need for manual intervention which resulted in significant time, resource and budget savings. The functionality development could be integrated into any other data capture application and allowed the validation and format of datasets; information could be easily cleaned, analysed and translated into visually responsive results that displayed in Hours and Minutes, Pounds and Pence.
The resulting data had a high degree of integrity as a result of the validation tool developed, which also allowed an auditable trail of any corrections made or errors identified. After extraction into a dashboard format that could be accessed online from multiple locations, analysis with responsive data was a simple task. It resulted in the identification of areas where highly-paid officers were tied up with menial tasks, and helped higher management to understand where, why and how there were not more visible officers on the street, amongst other matters. Data was converted into smarter resource targeting and budget spends, resulting in a more focussed and active force.