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How clean is your database?

Data quality is vital for successful communication between a local authority and its citizens. Up-to-date citizen contact details play a crucial role in ensuring that effective communication, public safety, service delivery, public engagement and resource allocation can be delivered successfully.  

Maintaining accurate contact information helps ensure a much stronger connection between local government and its citizens. 

So, that begs the question. How clean is your database? 

While local authorities do a tremendous job of keeping system records accurate, contact details can quite easily become outdated. Any missing details can cause problems for citizens and staff alike, especially when data quality issues start to impact self-service channels. 

But what does an out-of-date database look like?

Wasted opportunities for self-serving 

Take Mrs A Smith. Aside from being a lovely lady, Mrs Smith has been trying to use the local authority portal to inform her local council that her partner has moved in. 

She’s been trying for days to update her Council Tax account on the portal, however, each time, she’s typing Mrs Amy Smith into the system (after all, that’s her name) but her update is being rejected. She ends up contacting the authority, only to find out that she needs to input her name to match the exact record that’s on the database. It’s now a wasted opportunity to self-serve, both for the local authority and Mrs Smith, the end user.  

Misplaced or inaccurate data 

Another example – Paul is the recovery officer for a local council. He’s a great chap, and he’s been trying to speak to Mr Jones, a local citizen for a couple of days now. But each time he tries to ring him, a connection cannot be established. That’s because Mr Jones has a new mobile and a new number, but Paul doesn’t know about it. Because the record is out of date.  

Mr Jones told another department about his new number and thinks that they’ll pass it onto the right department. Wrong! We all know that very rarely happens. We’re all used to keeping our own houses in order, but as we all know, life often gets in the way and things get put by the wayside. But fear not – we’re here to help, supporting in cleaning your database and updating records. We capture and cleanse data, for you, taking away those headaches.  

Another great comparison when considering the completeness of your database – take that pile of ironing for example. You keep promising yourself that you’ll do a little bit each night. But other household tasks just keep getting in the way. 

You might be sat there thinking, what does my laundry have to do with my database? Well, the point I am making is sometimes unexpected things stop you from doing the tasks you know you need to do.  

It’s the same in the world of local government, especially over the last few years. You plan to spend some time making these important (yet labour intensive) updates, but before you know it, you’re delivering Household Support Fund payments, the Energy Bills Support Scheme, and now you’re about to embark on the tasks associated to Circular A3/2023.   

We’re here to help 

Like your local friendly ironing service, NEC’s Entitlement Services Team is here to offer a helping hand. If you have records that need updating, then chat to us. After all, who wants to cancel plans to stand and press shirts? 

If you’d like to hear more about how we can help, then please contact our team via an email to 

With very best wishes, 

Callum and the Entitlement Services Team