Wilde said the public sector has, on the whole, not had a great record of managing and using data in the past. However this is an area that Essex County Council is intent on in improving.
"We do have to look within ourselves in public service, a lot of our data is pretty rubbish and what we need to do is make sure that the quality of the data we are dealing with is of a standard that enables us to make sure decisions [around delivering services) are built on safe foundations.
"In Essex we have spent four years cleansing our social care data, in recognition of the fact that if we don't have that data right we could make life changing decisions based on false premises, and that is not underestimating the seriousness with which we need to treat this information."
Having a well-coordinated data strategy has other benefits too, with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) looming on the horizon. Wilde said that the work council has already carried out around data governance and transparency leave it well placed to adapt to any framework put in place.
"We are lucky we are one of the leaders in the country around information governance and we are working closely with the ICO and others around the implications of GDPR," he said.
"I take the view that I need to take our population with us around data, and it is a privilege to use what they choose to let us use to actually make those decisions. So GDPR for me isn't a threat in that context, provided you are starting from the right place, and that really bring to life the Whole Essex Information Sharing Framework and how we work that through."
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