Less churning, more learning: How data science transformed services in Southend-on-Sea

Tom Dowler of Southend-on-Sea Borough Council explains how data science helped provide better services and positively impact the lives of local residents.

Southend-on-Sea pier. Photo by Kevin Grieve on Unsplash
Tom Dowler

It’s been four years since we started programming, and we haven’t looked back!

Then, we started recruiting staff with SQL [Structured Query Language] skills. We were able to send SQL queries directly to the IT team (who owned the data), and eventually we were granted direct access to the database to do our own queries. We became excellent at extracting data and conducting analysis in Excel, but we wanted to go further and do more impactful analysis.


We combine social and financial insight to help our partners make a difference to enduring problems — where outcomes are poor and costs of failure high.