Inventing Digital Services with iteration and creativity

When Stuart Downie described how Highland Council was using Jadu Directories to help with "horrible weather" we thought it would be great to share the story!

Highland Council have over 300 schools in what is the largest land mass for a single Local Authority in the UK. With a population over 300,000 people spread over 12,000 square miles - the logistical challenge of communicating the closing of schools in bad weather falls to the Council.

Having tried many methods of managing the communication challenge of school closures, the Council came up with a inventive way to automate the process of managing school closures and also making it easier for head teachers to self-serve - so they have control when they need it.

Stuart explains how they created an elegant digital service and alerting system by using a Jadu Directory and a few custom fields and how it provides feeds to Twitter and Facebook as well as alerts to contractors to cancel school services such as catering.

As a result, in just the month of January, the council noticed more traffic coming into their website from mobile devices - than any other device or access channel.

Since first deploying the new feature - the council have iterated the service and developed an XML feed to their Education unit and automated the status updates. A great way to manage and deliver digital services through iteration, which we have written about before.

Jadu recently made Directories a 'stand alone' feature on the G-Cloud 6 Digital Marketplace, so all of Local Government could benefit from the service. We thought 'Data Platform' made for a good name :)

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