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Symphony strikes the right note in Bolton

By [email protected] - 25th September 2006 - 11:56

Bolton Council praises the Symphony software Suite for enhancing the quality of its Local Land and Property Gazetteer
Over the last couple of years, Bolton Council (www.bolton.gov.uk) has invested considerable effort to improve the quality of its Local Land and Property Gazetteer (LLPG). In particular, efforts have been made to ensure that it works more effectively and is fit for its role at the heart of the Councilâs interactions with its customers.Boltonâs Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is a key resource in delivering better services to citizens so it is vital that it utilises accurate and reliable information. The LLPG is the key source of property information for the CRM system and any inaccuracies have consequences for the speed, quality and cost of tcustomer-relared services. When the Oracle CRM system was introduced three years ago using an early cut of the LLPG, significant problems were encountered with missing addresses, addresses in the wrong place, addresses with incorrect postcodes, and duplicates. Most of these problems were resolved after a major data cleaning exercise and the Oracle CRM system is now supplied with regular updates from the LLPG via the Oracle e-Business Suite. The number of service requests resulting in an âaddress not foundâ has now reduced to near-zero from a weekly level of about 100 two years ago.Growing confidence in the quality of the LLPG means that the time is now right to provide links between the LLPG and other major Council systems. How Bolton achieves this will differ between systems. In some cases the systems include a BS7666 gazetteer which will be populated and updated directly from the LLPG. In other cases addresses will be matched with the LLPG and an additional LLPG_UPRN field added to records â these systems will then receive updates from the LLPG via the Oracle e-business suite. The benefits of linkages will include:⢠Making it easier to provide a seamless service to our customers by bringing together information about a property from a variety of different systems through the common use of the LLPG Unique Property Reference Number (UPRN)⢠Consistency of address information between systems⢠Reducing or eliminating the need for manual entry of addresses into systems once they take updates from the master holding â the LLPG⢠Providing the ability to map and spatially analyse the contents of systems that were previously textual rather than spatial â the UPRN allows records to be linked with the point or polygon spatial data held in the LLPG.The improvement in the quality of Boltonâs LLPG has given it the confidence to expose it to the public through its web mapping project which was implemented in response to ODPM Priority Outcome G5. For this, Bolton uses Astun Technologyâs iShareMaps combined with Aligned Assetsâ iSearchWeb. Since March 2006, the Councilâs customers have been able to find the location of some key services on an interactive map by following the Online Maps link on the Access Bolton web site (http://maps.bolton.gov.uk/) . Boltonâs master LLPG is the gazetteer used to power the Find an Address function of Online Maps which then allows customers to Find My Closest services. The aim is to make it easier for customers to find information about their nearest services, their area or their property on a self-service basis in the comfort of their own homes. A quality gazetteer is a key element in making this work.Quality Gazetteer Management SystemAs the LLPG is being used to assist Bolton in an operational capacity it is essential that the Council can maintain it with ease and ensure that all linked systems are able to access changes made to the master LLPG. The originally-installed software for maintaining the LLPG was unable to generate adequate change-only updates and didnât have sufficient validation checking functions, so Bolton struggled to pass the NLPG hub validation tests. The new corporate gazetteer management solution was implemented in February 2006 and uses the Aligned Assetsâ Symphony Suite product with an Oracle database. The software is reliable, scaleable and has many advantages over the old software:⢠The export function is reliable and has been accepted by the NLPG as complying with the validation rules for both full export and change only.⢠It includes many more data validation checks⢠It allows certain productivity improvements particularly when entering large numbers of new properties⢠It includes better mechanisms for supplying other systems with updates in a variety of formats. This will include transactional updates to the Oracle e-business suite (to be implemented later this year).âThis solution was chosen because it ticked more of the boxes than others we evaluated,â said Moira Livesey; LLPG Manager/Lamp Project Manager for Bolton Council. âAligned Assets is also customer friendly and approachable, offering its expertise and support in a timely manner. It is a can-do company with excellent after sales service.âPictured: Moira Livesey, LLPG Manager/Lamp Project Manager, Bolton Council, using Aligned Assetsâ Symphony Suite

Author: supplied by Helen Seebold, Aligned Assets

For more information visit:

www.aligned-assets.co.uk

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