Capital Gains – supplying the Greater London Authority with information services

by Rebecca Riley

Managers and researchers working for the Greater London Authority (GLA) are in constant need of current and relevant information. They need information to inform research, strategy development and assessment, policy creation and evaluation, target setting, bids for funding, project set-up and implementation, report writing, investment decisions and much more.

In times of budget restrictions the GLA needed to be innovative with the available budget and still provide high quality internal services and The Idox Knowledge Exchange team were commissioned to provide a comprehensive evidence service.

Key Project Outcomes

  • Better decisions based on better evidence with access to the most complete and accessible source of public sector knowledge.
  • Substantial cost savings by outsourcing or sharing frontline information services with other key stakeholders and partners and reducing library costs
  • Collaboration and integration of services which are key elements of Public Service Reform.
  • A sustainable, key information service, embedding continuous improvement, leading to real efficiency and effectiveness benefits.

The solution

Idox developed an online platform which gave the GLA access to the most complete and accessible source of public sector knowledge in the UK. The online library and Information Service contains over 200,000 abstracts, 60,000 publications, reports and journals covering 32 policy subject areas, examples of which include planning, regeneration, economic, social practice, housing and health.

The service includes a personalised profile area where staff can update individual preferences such as set topic update alerts for more focused results, as well as access to a dedicated team of information specialists.

Lessons Learned

This project was implemented in a truly Agile way, with a launch date that couldn’t be moved, this required us to split down the “must have’s” from the “could have’s” to ensure we delivered a system which would meet the minimum requirements at launch. The positive of this, was that we were able to use the releasing of new features to users, as a core part of the communications and marketing plan, building up interest and use.

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