Havant Borough, like many local authorities across the UK, prioritises fostering inclusive and equitable engagement with its residents. However, data dispersion across systems hindered comprehensive analysis, making it difficult to assess the true representativeness of participating residents. By co-developing a Power BI integration with CitizenLab, Havant Borough can now capitalise on the full potential of its data, paving the way for more inclusive and well-informed decision-making processes.

Harnessing the power of data for inclusive decision-making is a key priority for Havant Borough Council. They recognised the value of CitizenLab’s online engagement platform in streamlining data collection and fostering impactful community participation, for example in their 2022 Local Plan consultation.

While CitizenLab significantly improved the council’s data collection, data sharing across teams remained a challenge. Previously, leveraging CitizenLab’s valuable insights was not so straightforward. Manual data transfers, for instance, to Power BI for visualisation, hindered real-time, data-driven decision-making.

“While our previous process was functional, we wanted to further enhance our ability to share and act upon insights, and move away from sharing static data files,” says Arron Tickner, Data & Intelligence Analyst at Havant Borough Council. “We envisioned a solution that seamlessly integrates CitizenLab data with our Power BI reports, allowing us to make data-driven decisions based on real-time data.”

An integration born from a true partnership

To unlock the full potential of community engagement data, Havant and CitizenLab, with funding from DLUHC’s PropTech Engagement initiative, co-developed a custom Power BI template and data flow. 

This innovative solution sets a new standard for both inclusive data-driven community engagement and effective collaboration across teams. Additionally, it elevates CitizenLab to a crucial piece within Havant’s broader digital infrastructure, ensuring data from community engagement can directly inform decision-making. 

Arron: “For councils without in-house Power BI expertise, the pre-built template connector is a game-changer.  This out-of-the-box solution eliminates the need for contractors or internal development resources, resulting in cost savings.  Assuming a council runs at least 5 engagement projects per year, the template connector can save over £1000 annually.”

Increased efficiency, improved reporting, and more inclusive decisions

Havant can now effortlessly visualise and use engagement data directly in Power BI, freeing up valuable time for strategic tasks. “Previously, data handling was a significant time drain for our team,” says Caroline Harvey, Insights Manager at Havant Borough Council. “CitizenLab’s integration with Power BI allows us to dedicate more resources to engaging with residents.” The real-time monitoring of engagement metrics allows Havant to fine-tune strategies on the fly, fostering more inclusive and effective engagement with all residents. 

The readily available data is also invaluable for reporting purposes. Caroline notes: “Not only does it ensure reliable insights through an automated flow, minimising human error, but it also empowers more informed decision-making. This translates to improved reporting, fostering transparency and trust with both the community and the council.” Additionally, Havant – and other councils that adopt the tool – can provide management with direct access to the dashboard, saving valuable time and resources previously spent on preparing meetings, presentations, and bespoke reports. Caroline further adds: “While the exact cost savings are difficult to quantify, factors like officer and manager time, and related administration will all be reduced.”

Engagement data straight to the decision-making table

Caroline: “The benefits of the integration on efficiency, reporting, and ultimately, decision-making are evident.” 

By seamlessly integrating with Havant’s existing infrastructure and by doing so streamlining data management and facilitating real-time insights, CitizenLab empowers Havant Borough Council to dedicate more time and resources to acting on what the data tells them and fostering impactful community engagement.  

Explore the possibilities for your engagement projects

Curious to see CitizenLab’s engagement platform in action and discover how it can enhance your consultation processes? Book your demo now!