Talking 5 with Local Public Services Member Egress
Each month, techUK's Associate Director for Local Public Services, Georgina Maratheftis, interviews a member active in the local government space about their vision for the future of local public services and where digital can make a real difference to people and society. This month we talk with Andrew Peden, Principal Consultant at Egress Group, about the role that data, in particular, plays in driving digital transformation and enabling change for the better.
Welcome Andrew. Firstly, tell me more about you, your career and how you got to this position today?
As a Principal Consultant at Egress Group, I am passionate about delivering data migration, data quality, and payroll assurance solutions to the local government sector. My journey into digital was quite accidental, but it has been an exciting 15-year adventure filled with diverse experiences.
Whilst pursuing my studies in Civil Engineering, I stumbled into part-time sales work that ultimately introduced me to the world of Information Technology. I always had an interest in computing but had never considered how integral it was to manage business operations. Initially, I found myself running demand generation campaigns for prominent technology firms and niche partners across various sectors, aiding them in penetrating new markets.
Seeking to build upon this knowledge, I transitioned over to the IT service provider side, helping organisations drive tangible change through technology adoption and digital transformation working for Version 1, DXC Technology, and Dedalus healthcare before joining Egress Group.
Moving to Egress Group was a natural progression for me. The company has delivered some of the most complex data projects in the UK in recent years and it is a pleasure to work with our expert teams. We all, myself included, care deeply about helping our customers realise their data opportunities, working collaboratively to drive organisational change, reduce risk, increase compliance and improve access to services and user experience.
What is the greatest opportunity for local government when it comes to digital?
Good quality data is the linchpin for realising the digital opportunities within UK local government. It serves as the foundation for informed decision-making, enhancing service delivery, cost efficiency, and citizen engagement. When data is accurate and reliable, Councils can make better, more informed decisions, optimising resource allocation and policies. Moreover, it ensures that public services are efficient and trustworthy, promoting citizen confidence and engagement.
High-quality data minimises errors, leading to cost savings and preventing waste. To be honest, data isn’t always seen as the most exciting subject, but it is absolutely key. Those data fundamentals and solid foundations must be right to safely support more advanced technology like predictive analytics and machine learning, which will enable local government to forecast trends and proactively plan for future needs. Those plans are only as good as the data used to drive them.
To seize these digital opportunities, local government must prioritise data quality assurance, governance, and management. This involves regular validation, updates, cleansing, and the implementation of data standards, ensuring data accuracy, timeliness, and relevance. This is an area where Egress Group can add real value to our customers in local government. Our Data Quality Assessment consists of reviewing existing source systems and data governance protocols, then illustrating the best approach for data quality considerations and resolutions. Through a commitment to data quality, local government can fully leverage the potential of digital transformation, benefiting both governance and its citizens.
What is your vision for the future of local public services and places?
Embracing digital technology can revolutionise the way government interacts with citizens, making services accessible and responsive. Data migration, data quality and payroll validation tools, such as those offered by Egress Group, can play a crucial role in this future.
As an increasing number of Local Authorities embark on the journey of modernising their legacy Finance and HR solutions with cutting-edge Cloud applications, the aim is to enhance day-to-day operations significantly. When these transformations are complemented by tools such as our payroll validation services, local authorities gain the capacity to make better, more informed decisions, prevent over and underpayments, avoid costly fines and allocate resources with precision.
By investing in user-friendly, online platforms, mobile apps, and streamlined digital services, local governments can create a seamless experience for citizens. These tools enable constituents to access information, apply for services, and make payments with ease. Our data quality solutions ensure that information is accurate, reliable, and up to date allowing local governments to plan for better management of services, environmental sustainability, and optimising resource allocation.
That’s got to be a win for everyone and that’s why I do what I do.
Georgina is techUK’s Associate Director for Local Public Services
Georgina works with suppliers that are active or looking to break into the market as well as with local public services to create the conditions for meaningful transformation. techUK regularly bring together local public services and supplier community to horizon scan and explore how the technologies of today and tomorrow can help solve some of the most pressing problems our communities face and improve outcomes for our people and places.
Prior to techUK, Georgina worked for a public policy events company where she managed the policy briefing division and was responsible for generating new ideas for events that would add value to the public sector. Georgina worked across a number of portfolios from education, criminal justice, and health but had a particular interest in public sector transformation and technology. Georgina also led on developing relationships across central and local government.
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Local Public Services Programme
techUK's Local Public Services Programme provides the forum for local public services to engage with industry to better understand the innovations out there, horizon-scan how the technologies of today and tomorrow can re-imagine local public services and solve some of the most pressing challenges our communities and places face. It also helps connect suppliers with each other, identify new business partnerships to help grow an ever thriving local government ecosystem.
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The Working Group acts a neutral forum for knowledge exchange across the supplier base and for public sector stakeholders to engage with the market. While identifying common challenges and solutions and offering the opportunity to leverage synergies to partner as often an ecosystem approach is needed to solve a problem.
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