Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) engaged Data Agility to develop their first data strategy.
Following the approval of the Strategy by the Executive, Data Agility then took on the role of implementation program managers and drove the reporting uplift project.
Peter Noble, VLA Executive Director spoke with and Iain Kiernan, Director Marketing and Customer Advocacy about the key components of the work architecture, governance, reporting, visualisation and how VLA was taking a transformative leap.
Iain Kiernan: So you’ve created the strategy, where are you up to with the implementation of the strategy?
Peter Noble: So let me just spend a moment on the impacts of the data strategy and reflect on the work of Data Agility. It’s been great working with Data Agility. They have been very motivated to understand the business and to embed alongside our staff and not just engage with senior leadership but to really understand the coal face experience of people who are collecting data and needing to apply it in their everyday work to improve, to understand how effective and efficient and productive they’re being.
Iain Kiernan: Fantastic and how is it going so far?
Peter Noble: I think it’s going pretty well. Data Agility have helped with the strategy, articulating an implementation plan and now the first steps.
We have had some priorities that have matched against areas of greatest pain of the business which have been around some very foundational activities. These include data governance, and just getting business rules right in architecture around how we define different elements of information we collect and how we administer that who makes decisions and at what point about our data assets.
We’ve articulated owners for different products and decision making processes when changes need to be made to those. We’ve also, in addition to that data governance focus, had a real push on improving our reporting capability. Especially internally transforming from solid but relatively static reports into a much more dynamic format with better visualisation that are more accessible to our front line workers who aren’t as skilled yet on interpreting that information and applying it to improve their work.
We’ve created a data portal that all of the different reports can feed into which makes it a much easier client experience if I can describe it that way for our staff to find the report that they need and request improvements or modifications.
Iain Kiernan: Probably lastly, what’s next?
Peter Noble: The answer is plenty more. Part of our journey and probably the journey of many organisations is to recruit sufficient resources to really make the formative leap in data.
Some people are naturally and some organisations naturally are concerned about the cost that is takes to make this commitment. We believe that it stacks up in terms of the return and getting value through that investment.
We have been moderately successful in recruiting some resources to really make some transformative appointments to drive the program of work forward under a single manager but to also employ some key roles around data architecture and analysis while building greater capability into our reporting team.
So, the first thing is we have recruited resources and we are getting great organisational commitment to do this work.
The next is to really embed the data strategy as part of our overall ICT strategy “Digital Legal Aid”. We have now done that and demonstrated the data component of the work is really foundational to any serious future ICT changes to improve our client record management or customer record management in the organisation and invest further in our billing systems.