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ODI Leeds

Helping the vulnerable in society - a collaborative approach

At Northern Gas Networks the use of data and research go hand in hand when it comes to making decisions which affect our customers, stakeholders, and our business.

I was sitting, sifting and sorting through sheets of data and research, looking for commonality and synergies to help shape my approach. When I sat and thought, "This shouldn't be so hard, this is 2021, why isn't the data working for me?"

The need for clear understanding as to what the data and research mean in the real world has never been so important as it is now. As I look out of the window thinking of better times, I can't help but think about our customers who may need additional support or assistance and yet we are blind to this need, be it an individual or community which we as a Gas Network are unable to help, but we may be able to refer on to a trusted partner, local authority, charity or support group for support or advice.

It is important that we leave no customer behind, whether this be through future energy transitions, fuel poverty, priority services registrations, or carbon monoxide awareness and education.

We are currently constructing a Vulnerability Mapping Tool, which will enable users to visualise and identify need or areas of vulnerability on the ground. We are wishing to include as much data as possible to help our business, our community, our partners, and members of public to be able to shape their approach to help address issues which could be solved at a local level.

Using data to drive the decisions and choices we all make, must surely now be at the centre of all business, using data to offer inclusive services, support, and advice can only be the most acceptable option, especially during times of extreme hardship and need.

I believe that allowing everyone to share data can only be of benefit for communities and society, both at local and national level. Giving people the tools to help themselves is at the very heart of growth and evolution of business and community.

If anyone can help us to shape the future of data and its sources, how this could be shared, shaped, and displayed then please get in touch.