Creating wellbeing with real-time public data
It’s not news that all families are different with different needs in daily life. However, it has been a challenge for municipalities and cities to serve families based on individual needs as the information has been scattered around in different systems and the decision makers have not had the right tools to develop services from the families’ point of view.
Six municipalities in Finland (Tampere, Vantaa, Pori, Ylöjärvi, Vaasa, and Laihia) decided to take on this challenge in Advanced Family Analytics project and used Gofore’s digitalization expertise to create a detailed picture of 80,000 families with 132,000 children under the age of 19. The information was gathered from ten different national registers and the analysis combined information from experts, artificial intelligence, and ethical evaluation.
“The number of families is not essential in the construction of services. Because of the diversity of families, municipalities need to understand the diversity of the needed services and support. Family type or family background does not determine what kind of services a family needs. Depending on the municipality, the family may need the support of a social network, help in employment situation, or support for situation of a multi-challenging family,” says Petri Takala, Gofore’s leading consultant.
In the analysis, 100 different family types were defined and cross checked with 11 phenomena that affect a family, like the income level, education, health, and the socio-economic situation.
Although it was an expected finding that families have very different needs, the diversity of families was still a surprise. The mere result of the analysis and information about where or who needs what kind of support is not enough to bring about change, but a new kind of management skills and the ability to organize in a customer-oriented manner are needed to support the situation. In addition to digitalization expertise, the project utilized Gofore’s change management expertise. The range of means includes e.g. increasing interactivity and dialogue, bringing new management methods and practices to the organization, experimentation, service design and, in particular, modeling how and where the value experienced by the customer is generated.
With the help of the situation picture and new operating methods and information, municipalities will be able to operate in a more customer-oriented way and more efficiently. At the strategic level, the service network can be better designed when it is known in which target groups or geographical locations support or special expertise is needed. This will allow capacity to be managed and prioritized more effectively. The situation also enables equal treatment of customers, when both management and those doing practical customer work have the same information about the need for support, regional differences or even surprising target groups, such as the large number of young people living alone that the Advanced Family Analytics project revealed.
Advanced method combined with ethical reflection
Gofore aims to be, not only an expert in digitalization but the pioneer in ethical digitalization. Advanced Family Analytics project was a perfect example of ethical digitalization development where information handled can be very sensitive and the results have real effect on the analysis subjects.
The project is pioneering the way and methods of combining researched knowledge, expert knowledge, and artificial intelligence to obtain concrete results and form a situational picture.
“We have succeeded in modeling registry data with artificial intelligence and teaching the algorithm to work with researched and empirical data from experts. It has also been essential from an ethical point of view that man has led the process all the time. A similar approach to modeling can be used to analyze the well-being of Finns in other population groups,” says Petri Takala.
Ethical evaluation has been a key part of the project. Gofore’s analysts have guided the processing of the information and ensured that the data is handled responsibly, ethically and that privacy is maintained. It has not been possible to identify individual families from the data.
“The ethical review ensured that the results were interpreted correctly, and we were able to respond quickly to emerging ethical considerations. In addition to information security, we paid attention to, for example, our own preconceptions when interpreting the results, and to the fact that we do not inadvertently strengthen social dividing when communicating the results. Together, we have created operating methods for ethical evaluation that can also be utilized by other actors,” says Anna Seppänen, CEO of CoHumans Oy, who supported the project’s ethical process.
Come meet Gofore at Tampere Smart City Week Expo!
The experts at Gofore are more than happy to find out what kind of needs your organization faces when aiming to provide better targeted and optimized services. Meet the crew at Gofore stand at Tampere Smart City Week Expo and see Petri “Pepi” Takala on stage June 14 at 14.30-14.45 talking about how real-time public data can be utilized in serving all the different kinds of families.
This article was originally published at Tampere Smart City Week website on February 10th, 2022.
Press Release 25.11.2021
The advanced project provides important information on the well-being of children, young people and families with children in Finnish cities of Tampere, Ylöjärvi, Vaasa, Laihia, Vantaa, and Pori. Six municipalities and a digitalisation expert company, Gofore, have built a well-being snapshot of nearly 80,000 families with children and 132,000 families under the age of 19 living in municipalities in the Advanced Family Analysis project. The key finding is that the well-being of families is highly diverse, which challenges the current service systems and ways in which municipalities provide and target support in the right way and at the right time. The results of the analysis help municipalities in management, decision-making and the provision of regionally targeted and family-oriented services. Information on families with children has been retrieved from ten national registry sources and the analysis has been performed using a combination of expert knowledge, artificial intelligence and ethical evaluation. No such concrete and extensive analysis of the well-being of families with children has been made before.
The analysis identified 100 different types of families and looked at how 11 phenomena describing well-being, such as livelihoods, education, health and socio-economic status, are highlighted in different situations of families and the impact of these phenomena on well-being. Based on this, families were divided into ten groups * according to their overall well-being.
The majority of families, seven out of ten, are doing well and are doing well in society’s basic services, but a third of families still need better service thinking based on their needs. The analysis showed that in the largest municipalities, as many as 5% of minors live independently. In addition, more than a third of families are those where the lack of support networks affects parents’ coping. The situations of families in the most challenging situations are diverse, and several phenomena seem to accumulate for the same families. Just over 10 percent of families need multi-professional, profitable support instead of separate services.
“The number of families is not essential in the construction of services, because of the diversity of families, municipalities need to understand the diversity of the need for services and support. Family type or family background do not determine what kind of services a family needs. Depending on the municipality, the family may need the support of a social network, help to develop the labor market situation of families or support the situation of a multi-challenging family”, says Petri Takala, Gofore’s leading consultant.
Information about families also helps municipalities, for example, to develop the right kind of services, to design the service system and network, and to allocate human resources according to service needs and areas.
“In public administration, decision-making is often organization-based, because the administration does not have the knowledge, competence or opportunity to find out a comprehensive picture of the needs of local residents. The results of the project will help municipalities to turn their thinking into people: Our goal is to create the conditions for family-centered decision-making and service management”, says Katri Kalske, Deputy Mayor of Vantaa, who was involved in the steering group of the Advanced Family Analytics project.
An advanced method was created in the project
The project is pioneering the way and methods of combining researched knowledge, expert knowledge and artificial intelligence to obtain concrete results and form a situational picture.
“We have succeeded in modeling registry data with artificial intelligence and teaching the algorithm to work with researched and empirical data from experts. It has also been essential from an ethical point of view that man has led the process all the time. A similar approach to modeling can be used to analyze the well-being of Finns in other population groups”, says Petri Takala from Gofore.
Ethical reflection is an important part of the analytical process
Ethical evaluation has been a key part of the whole project. Gofore’s analysts have guided the processing of the information and ensured that the data is handled responsibly, ethically, and that privacy is maintained. It has not been possible to identify individual families from the data.
Petri Takala, Senior Consultant, Gofore Plc
+358 40 563 6272