Insight Bristol – Interagency Analytics hub

Insight Bristol is an interagency analytics hub between Bristol City Council and Avon and Somerset Police. Its core creation is a database of families' risk and vulnerability indicators, together with targeted risk modelling, which has been embedded into operational practice. This has created a fundamental shift in public sector working by developing a proactive approach to early intervention, saving millions of pounds of public money and improving outcomes for children and families.

Innovation Summary

Innovation Overview

Insight Bristol is a data analytics team comprising of Avon and Somerset Police and Bristol City Council staff. The team consists of a number of leading data scientists, developers and analysts, who utilise advanced analytical techniques and processes to create a better understanding of the issues facing vulnerable families in Bristol. The ground-breaking work carried out by the team has helped to develop a significantly more effective early intervention strategy, and has also created a number of state of the art analytical tools for a whole range of public sector workers. These tools are currently in daily use across the city, and are allowing for the creation of real and sustained outcomes for hundreds of vulnerable families.

Insight Bristol’s main work is centred around the Think Family Database; a pioneering database which pulls together data from around 30 different public sector sources to create a rich and diverse dataset covering the 54,000 families across the city of Bristol. The database is used to assist a whole range of public sector staff, from case triaging to frontline workers, which helps to identify ‘at risk’ families and better coordinate the support to those families.
The data captured within the TFD relates to a number of indicators within these categories:
- Parents and young people involved in crime or antisocial behaviour
- Children who have not been attending school regularly
- Children who need help
- Adults out of work or at risk of financial exclusion, and young people at risk of worklessness
- Families affected by domestic violence and abuse
- Parents and children with a range of health problems
The collection, processing and presentation of data concerning these criteria elicits a deeper understanding of the vulnerabilities facing the cities’ families, allows for a more effective allocation of resources and enables predictive risk modelling to target support at those who need it most. It involves truly collaborative working and transparency, pooling together for the first time data from the police, council and a number of governmental departments. The Insight Bristol team’s work with the Think Family database has been recognised as some of the best work in the national Troubled Families programme, and the
database has been shortlisted for a number of awards, winning the iESE Public Sector Transformation Award in 2019.

In addition to the Think Family Database, the Insight team creates a whole host of predictive risk models. Using state of the art analytics, these take a cohort of individuals (for example victims of sexual abuse), identify what common factors they share and then use a number of complex algorithms to understand the similarity between the control group and others the city. By doing this key workers are better equipped to tailor their approach to manage cases and it enables a strategic understanding of vulnerability.
The team has so far collaboratively developed a number of predictive risk models which have impacted organisational change, with the Child at Risk of Sexual Exploitation model (CSE) is being actively used by the Police to identify and help hundreds of vulnerable young people across the city, and has led to the nomination of a number of national awards for the team.

Innovation Description

Innovation Development

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Year: 2019
Level of government: National/Federal government


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