Realising the value of data to shield our most vulnerable

Never has data been more in need. Over the past three weeks we have been working tirelessly to identify the needs of our residents, react to the needs of our organisations and support partners as we all work together to manage COVID-19 risks and response.

Never has the potential of data to generate insight been more understood. The ability to unlock our data to inform decision making and delivery of critical services across Essex has been appreciated by all. The ECC Data and Analytics Team has prioritised 44 new data analysis requests in 15 days to support the organisation’s understanding of risk, design new services and monitor the impact within our organisation and our population, making data and analytics an essential service.

Never has there been the need to work with such determination. In just seven days we have delivered a new COVID-19 strategic scorecard to proactively support the incident management team's understanding and awareness of key issues that are surfacing. We have set up new data feeds and reports to identify and enable crucial supplies to be delivered to those at the greatest risk of COVID-19.

Never has data analysis been so impactful. Managing data to help those most in need receive emergency food parcels emphasises the significant contribution data can make in driving decision making to support lives. We now have a daily reporting tool to help monitor this new incoming data and understand where demand is across our county.

Never has there been a greater need for collaboration. Together with partners we have shaped the strategic thinking of Operation Shield (our community shielding response), by understanding data and mapping out processes for those at risk groups and those most vulnerable to social isolation. We are now starting to work with the new Essex Welfare Service to agree what reports and KPIs will add most value to their work to support isolated communities.

Never has our work had to be more agile. Iterating, testing and progressing our work as our thinking evolves. I suspect next week we will continue to operate at a fast pace but getting ahead of the curve now means we can influence and set up good processes / reports that allow us to monitor, analyse and track over the next few months.

Never have I been so proud of my team’s commitment to each other. They have pulled together and invested in each other’s wellbeing. We have setup a D&A wellbeing Teams group posting daily links and supporting one another through private group chats. The team have put in place a Virtual pub, Phat Flicks, buddy groups, brain training, all of which are keeping me sane during lockdown. THANK YOU ALL!

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