Given the range of challenges facing local authorities, traditional segmentation methods of dividing local authorities in the UK by region or authority type are no longer appropriate, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
While a segmentation model based on type of authority may be an improvement, as it tends to group bodies with similar issues and responsibilities, there are also problems with this approach, especially as there would be some notable differences between councils grouped under the same categories. For example, metropolitan boroughs include a mix of major cities, industrial cities and prosperous smaller towns, each facing different sets of pressures and challenges.
Alaa Owaineh, Chief Analyst at GlobalData, commented: “Segmentation based on geography fails to take into account that each region consists of a mix of types of authorities with different remits and sizes as councils across the country will have differing needs and requirements.”
As a result, GlobalData has developed an alternative segmentation approach, which is based on evaluating two of the biggest challenges facing local authorities across the UK – financial pressure and growing service demand.
Owaineh adds: “Not only are budgets impacted by economic uncertainties and cuts in central government funding, but some councils are also under increasing pressure due to the growth in demand on their services.”
GlobalData’s latest research reveals that adopting a ‘one size fits all’ approach is flawed because every council faces different sets of pressures. Technology suppliers targeting local government need to carefully identify discrete groups which share similarities, before creating specific strategies for targeting those groups.
However, technology can play a key role in delivering savings and support local authorities in transforming the way they operate and deliver services, allowing those under financial pressure to deliver more services with the same resources.