What was once good enough for customers and stakeholders isn’t anymore. That’s why the Gisborne District Council’s finance team undertook a stocktake to work out what its stakeholders wanted from their services.
Several key needs were identified:
- Deeper analysis of their financials
- Consolidation of transactional reporting
- Tools to enable more effective decision-making
- Increased self-service
- Smarter and easier financial tools
- Reduced manual spreadsheets
- Consistent and accurate reporting
- Reduced end of month close
- Greater knowledge sharing.
With these requirements in mind, Gisborne District Council developed a decision support system based on business intelligence and analytics. The council used existing software, Datacom’s Data Warehouse for Local Government and the finance team’s existing skillset.
This decision support system is known as Council Intelligence and Analytics (CIA). The council’s finance module, Financial Business Intelligence, now provides a financial reporting framework that:
- Empowers the council with smarter management tools
- Enables them to make better and more timely decisions
- Measures financial performance across the council.
Gisborne District Council’s new solution is delivering on its promise. This includes reaching 99.3 percent of budgeted capex, versus approximately 50 percent in each of the previous five financial years. Opex cost was within three percent of budget.
The decision support system has been extended to now include Intelligence and Analytics for Revenue and Rating, and Service Requests. There is also a pipeline of further functionality to be added, including asset management modules, human resources and payroll, and environmental management.
The success of the project saw it awarded ALGIM’s 2015 Excellence in Innovation Award at its November 2015 conference.
Gisborne District Council has partnered with Datacom to make the decision support system available to other councils to implement. The solution will provide those councils with the insights and improved financial and operational management that CIA offers.
This article was first published in the March 2016 issue of NZ Local Government Magazine.