Exploring the use of Business Intelligence (BI) within a planning department to better inform decision making. DECOMMISSIONED

Project details:

Organisation Wycombe District Council
Department Planning and Sustainability
Collaboration Level Open To Conversation
Budget £50K > £100k
Key Contact Emily Hadley
Phase start 15 September 2019
Phase Estimated end 31 March 2020



Wycombe District Council are seeking interested Local Authorities to be partners on our Local Digital Fund application to explore the use of Business Intelligence (BI) within a planning department to better inform decision making.

Large quantities of data are recorded during the planning process, but this data is often difficult to access, interpret and use in decision making. 


Currently, data reporting in planning is typically periodic, retrospective and time consuming. Data is retrieved from large databases through reports that show a snapshot in time. The reports are generally created manually using outdated software which suffers compatibility and forward compatibility issues. The reports are typically static representationsoften just tables of numbers, with no useable link to the source data. The data shown in reports is often aggregated with no means to ‘drill down’, preventing the detailed analysis of performance or causes and effects. In summary, this wealth of data is massively underused in decision making. 

The stakeholders who would gain most from planning BI include: 


  • Applicants – applicants would have much more data on which to base their proposals and development strategies. This could reduce the risk profile of all applications, speed up the determination process and reduce costs. 
  • Residents  residents would be able to see the impact their elected members and adopted policies are having on a given area. They would be able to cite data in their interactions with LAs rather than relying on anecdotal evidence. The data would make authorities more accountable. 
  • Officers – planning officers would be able to manage their workload more effectively and see trends in their cases. They would be able to see much more readily any issues with cases they are working on. 
  • Managers – planning managers would be able to analyse trends and performance by individual, by team, by ‘client type’ and by geographic area. Managers would be able to make resourcing decisions based on real-time, constantly available data. 
  • Local authorities – LAs would benefit from a greatly reduced cost of reporting and being able to make forecasts and decisions based on real-time data. They would be able to see trends in easily understood charts and maps, improving decision making and strategy creation. 
  • All users – All users would benefit from being able to self-serve online datashown in charts and graphical outputs, with the ability to ‘drill’ into the source data and manipulate those charts to their specific purposes.

This is a discovery project which looks to create a demonstrator BI solution that can be adapted to the needs and aspirations of differing council areas. We are seeking interested Local Authorities to partner on our Local Digital Fund application.

If you would like to be a partner on our application, please contact me by 5pm on Friday 13 September 2019.




Status Updates