How Local Authorities can do more with Microsoft Power Platform

How Local Authorities can do more with Microsoft Power Platform

The UK local government authorities are under pressure to deliver essential services.  The economic climate, the ongoing post-pandemic recovery, and changes in leadership, are just some of the factors that can cause service disruptions which leads to public frustration 

Recognising these issues, the UK government has pinpointed automation and data analytics as key strategies to help deal with these shortcomings. Automation is seen as a powerful tool to streamline processes and reduce the strain on resources, while data analytics serves as a crucial support system to prevent the sector from being overwhelmed by the pressure. Together, these strategies facilitate quicker processes, more informed decision-making and happier customers. 

Do more with Microsoft Power Platform 

In response to the multifaceted challenges faced by UK local government authorities, Microsoft Power Platform emerges as a recommended and cost-effective solution for expediting service delivery. With Power Automate, local councils can easily automate repetitive tasks such as handling invoicing slips and responding to enquiries.  Power BI offers a comprehensive view of information by consolidating disparate data sources into a centralised, self-service reporting system.  

The advantages of these solutions include: a faster, more efficient use of resources and they can be developed by employees without extensive software development skills. This ‘do more with less’ approach significantly enhances efficiency and optimises service delivery for local government authorities. The journey towards delivering complex, high-quality, enterprise-grade solutions that balance innovation and governance can be challenging but, can be expedited by collaborating with the right Microsoft partner. Their expertise is essential in designing more robust and effective solutions and amplifying the platform’s potential. They can also upskill staff to create a more sustainable way of working and instil the right governance for the system. 

Empowerment: Simple Build, Massive Impact 

The Power Platform provides a variety of user-friendly, drag-and-drop features. These features can easily empower local government employees and other citizen developers, to develop solutions with significant impact. This includes: 

1. Automated Cloud Flows 

The implementation of Power Automate Cloud Flow for manual tasks, such as manual data extraction, email responses, and document verification, can significantly enhance the efficiency of local authorities. These manual tasks are often error-prone, time-consuming, costly, and can compromise data security. 

By automating these tasks, you can quickly improve the accuracy and reliability of their systems. This also strengthens data security, as it reduces the risk of human error and data breaches. It enhances efficiency by reducing time spent on tasks, allowing resources to be reallocated more effectively. 

By creating a more optimised system, Cloud Flow also increases the value of the services provided by local authorities which in turn increases public confidence in local authorities. 

2. Business Process Flows  

Local authorities, often overwhelmed with services that are process-intensive, stand to gain significantly from employing Business Process Flows. These flows can be utilised to simplify the intricate day-to-day operations, including tracking crucial deliveries, managing various applications, and scheduling jobs.  

By incorporating all steps into a Business Process Flow, the tracking of an application or a workflow through its various stages is simplified. This boosts productivity and effectiveness while also reducing costs. The use of Business Process Flows not only conserves time and resources but also ensures auditing, standardisation, consistency, and accuracy. 

They feature a user-friendly drag-and-drop interface that can be easily used to optimise complex processes. This tool is an asset for those seeking to enhance their operational efficiency and service delivery. For example, BCP Council has invested in Power Platform and has enabled them to automate and set up new processes with ease, bypassing the inflated costs and extensive resources that would have been otherwise necessary.  

3. ETL Processes, BI Report and Dashboard 

Most local authorities have data in disparate data sources. This system often leads to oversight, slow delivery, and poor auditing. With the Power BI, Extract, Transform and Load (ETL) solution, councils can easily model these data sources into one single source of information. This reduces the query time and leads to improved and informed decision making. Most of the Power BI functionality is easily configurable from out-of-the-box and does not require advanced analytics to be able to create a sensible report and dashboards.  

Round up

The adoption of Microsoft Power Platform presents an opportunity for UK local government authorities to overcome challenges in service delivery, resource optimisation, and operational efficiency. As the government emphasises the pivotal role of automation and data analytics, Power Platform stands out as a cost-effective and accessible solution. By using Power Automate for streamlined processes and Power BI for comprehensive reporting, local councils can achieve more with fewer resources and empower employees to contribute to innovative solutions. At Marra, we offer guidance to local authorities to help them get the most out of their Microsoft investment.

Written by Rahman Olamide Eniola, Associate Developer



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