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Practical placemaking collection | Article

Supporting transformation

Authored by William Barker, Martin Ferguson, Diana Rebaza


Illustration showing woman standing holding a laptop. Behind her is a cityscape with location markers on various buildings.

Location intelligence

Enabling technology and location intelligence

Outlines the role of enabling technology to underpin how location intelligence is being used to better understand the characteristics of communities, infrastructure and places, and when and where they need particular services.

Harnessing data illustration

Harnessing data

Harnessing data

Offers practical insights and inspiration for achieving better public service outcomes. Data lies at the heart of what we do. This collection seeks to help local public service organisations unlock the potential of data, whilst protecting the people and communities that they are there to serve.

Illustration from the cover of the Public Sector Digital Trends report. There are illustrations of a line graph (heading downwards); a woman sitting looking at a laptop screen; a man standing, surrounded by a swirling line that twists around his whole body - he's looking a little puzzled; there's a fingerprint with a padlock; and then a monitor with drawings of buildings on.

Public sector digital trends

Applied artificial intelligence and automation

Helps to harness the knowledge, learning and expertise of those working at the ‘edge’ of organisations to develop innovative applications of AI, while ensuring that these deployments are consistent with policy priorities and service needs and that full consideration is being given to their ethical design and impacts.

Apps multiply and mature

Looks at how the ease of developing apps that allow citizens and residents to access public services from their mobile phone has made them an attractive digital innovation.

Augmented reality and digital twins

Presents a key trend that is gathering momentum, with practical applications, namely the use of augmented reality modelling or ‘digital twins’. This is a way of building, testing, and adapting prototypes (services, policies, plans or designs) at relatively low cost, to emulate the real-world scenarios.

Data explodes silos

Reviews how local public services need to work together on data planning in their region and organisation, ensuring that they have a ‘whole business’ framework for data use and optimisation, which can be shared when required.

Data protection in artificial intelligence

Explores thought leadership, tools and practical insights to support local public service organisations championing leading-edge practices in the ethical use of emerging technologies and data as part of their wider digital placemaking and service transformation activities.

Digital identity trends

Considers the fundamental importance of digital identity in the development of digital public services. It is the key method for linking systems and services better, preventing fraud and empowering citizens to be more in control of their interactions with government.

Internet of Things (IoT) everywhere

Considers how public service organisations must be careful to ensure that the way in which they select and implement IOT capabilities as part of a broader technology, infrastructure and compliance regime, managing the risks as well as harnessing the data in ways that are ethical, trusted and secure.


Socitm briefing - Data visualisation, part 1

Data visualisation (briefing)

Provides practical guidance in three briefings for local public services on using data visualisations, such as graphs, charts and maps, for both external and internal uses, from a single chart on a webpage to more complex visualisations.

Inform report - Digital identity summary

Digital identity (report)

Focuses on the application of digital identity in public services. This report summarises Socitm’s evidence-based guidance for two key audiences: those involved in digital public service design about the nature of digital identity and how it can underpin the future of local place-shaping and public service provision; and those involved in national policy and development for digital identity, particularly in DSIT, GDS and the NHS, by presenting a clear and practical local perspective on the subject.

Socitm white paper, Harnessing artificial intelligence and big data

Harnessing artificial intelligence and big data (white paper)

Explores whether harnessing AI and data constitute a new ‘wicked problem’ through the lens of ten characteristics to draw attention to the complexities and challenges of addressing social policy problems.

How AI meets social care: Introduction

How AI meets social care (guide)

Addresses four key issues with respect to the adoption of AI technologies in social care. A useful resource for all those considering how best to harness the opportunities presented by AI, to stimulate conversations and to make the case for these technologies as a key enabler in improvement.