Data-driven management for municipalities

20 November 2017

Article written by Wouter van Gils, Senior Consultant

A practical example from Utrecht.

Data-driven management or information-directed working are increasingly on the agenda at many municipalities. The sheer amount of data that municipalities themselves have, plus the data available from the partners they work with such as the Police, the Fire Brigade and Municipal Health Services, offers a host of opportunities to underpin and support policy. Policy is being defined less by gut feeling and is increasingly being underpinned by available, analysed data.

Given our field of work and our emphasis on the public sector, we are keeping a close eye on this development. By using data and applying it with advanced analytics and data science, we can predict and explain developments that are important for steering an organisation. Also take a look at our branchepropositie voor gemeenten.


Support and pilots

A municipality that has already succeeded in making great steps in data-driven management is the Municipality of Utrecht. Cmotions asked Martin Jansen, their Data-Driven Management lead, to talk us through what data-driven management has given the Municipality of Utrecht and where they are now. On Friday 10 November 2017 we welcomed him as a guest speaker at our offices in Amersfoort. The key factors for the success of data-driven management at the Municipality of Utrecht were having sufficient support from management, a dedicated budget and applying the approach through pilots in various different departments of the municipality.

Starting small with pilots in a range of sections of the organisation turned out to be a good method to get the municipality as a whole on board with data-driven management. In his role as the lead of the initiative, Martin has talked to every section of the municipal organisation to identify specific issues and challenges. On this basis, a number of pilots were launched to demonstrate how data can be valuable.

A few examples of these pilots include:

  • Predicting the maintenance of sewage pumping stations so maintenance can be performed promptly and proactively.
  • Reduction in the total costs of servicing and depreciation for refuse collection vehicles based on analysis of their service history.
  • Applying 3D simulations to obtain better grip and insight into crowd management at large events.
  • Home burglary predictor.
  • Air quality measured by sensors.


The “Open Publiek” pilot

Cmotions also supported the Municipality of Utrecht in one of the pilots it carried out: a pilot called Open Publiek [“open audience”]. The angle of this pilot was to expand and widen the audience at cultural institutions in the city of Utrecht. An interactive web report/dashboard gave the cultural institutions an insight into their own audience (characteristics and origins) and the audiences of the city’s other cultural institutions. Having greater insight into their audience offers better opportunities to reach new target groups and join forces to work together.


Data-driven management: the results

Martin concluded by stating the following things that data-driven management has given the Municipality of Utrecht:

  • A large number of pilots were carried out in all of the departments of the municipal organisation.
  • Working with data also generated attention for the aspect of privacy, for which tooling and regulations have now been put in place and an officer has been appointed.
  • The municipal management have been convinced of the value of data.
  • A familiar route from idea to -> pilot.
  • An expansion to “innovation”.

It was an interesting afternoon with an enthusiastic guest speaker!


Do you want to know more about this subject? Please contact Wouter van Gils using the details below

Wouter van Gils, Senior Consultant

+31 6 15 46 99 17

Latest news

Nachos Hackathon 2022

7 September 2022

We don’t know if you’ve heard already, but there is yet another crisis on our horizon:... read more

DDMA Customer Data Award Night on November 19th, 2020

29 April 2020

About the Award The field of data driven marketing is evolving fast. To honor these developments,... read more

Report meetup – Conversational Analytics: February 12th, 2020

18 February 2020

Meetup conversational analytics @ True Storm Ciara had only just receded, when our Meetup at True... read more

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss anything in the field of advanced analytics, data science and its application within organizations!