Methods’ Connective Intelligence Unit applies best practice, new technologies and capabilities to improve public services. We have unique insight into how to apply technology based on nearly 30 years experience in working with the UK public sector.

We combine specialist service design, detailed understanding of users’ needs and in-depth understanding of new technologies to provide enhanced capabilities.

Our Offerings

RPA allows public sector organisations to add real value without increasing staff numbers, automating time-consuming, repetitive processes, and directing staff back to delivering customer facing services, away from time consuming administrative activities. For example, local Authorities entering customer details into multiple back office systems can use an RPA product to automatically complete such tasks, reducing the staff overhead of re-keying information into systems and allowing staff to focus more on serving customers.

Influenced by technology, policy, legal rights and cultural factors, the interpretation and use of digital ID varies across industries and national borders. In the UK, various digital identity solutions are emerging based on re-use of legal documents and authentication by trusted organisations (including GOV.UK Verify).

Regulators apply rules. The difficulty they encounter is applying these rules to very large numbers of organisations, who may apply these rules differently. Compounding the difficulty, the sectors they regulate can be vast, generating huge data volumes that regulators need to use to ensure compliance. We are investigating how common capabilities and technology can be used to enable regulators to surveil this data volume, in real or close to real time – applying simple techniques to monitor the hard rules, and more complex technologies to understand the more difficult, sector-specific behaviour.

Cognitive Computing has many potential benefits across different areas of the public sector, particularly as an aid to human decision making. For example, Machine Learning has been used by the Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust to diagnose patient eye scans more quickly and accurately than was possible by staff. As a result, the more urgent cases are prioritised quickly and patients receive the treatment they need faster.

Blockchain and related distributed database technologies can help us to share trustworthy data more effectively, making it easier to meet user needs. They have the potential to transform how our clients deliver their services. Methods has already completed pathfinding work for HM Land Registry, collaborating with a leading blockchain provider to pilot the use of this technology in improving the home buying and selling process. We are keen to work with partners to explore whether there are other potential uses for it in the public sector.

With the ability to pull in graphics, data, sound from limitless sources and superimpose them onto the real world, AR and VR are well suited for almost any type of public sector situation that could benefit from virtual training, visual communication and large-scale planning. Important applications in public sector include for hospitals care & emergency services, large-scale public works, transportation planning, culture, heritage, and tourism, and asset maintenance and management.

MI/ BI involves collecting, processing, contextualising, and delivering insight to inform better, data-driven decision-making. This might include data migrations, data warehouse and ETL development, reporting and visualisation solutions including data acquisition, managed refresh and alerting, and integration and consolidation of legacy data sources. Our engagements typically use the Microsoft BI stack (SQL Server SSIS, SSAS, SSRS), but also Tableau, Qlikview, and increasingly involve building this capability in the cloud (Azure, Power BI, D3.js) depending on client requirements.

The CIU team is developing new answers to the following questions:

  • How do we design and deliver better services to citizens based on emerging technologies?
  • What are the most effective cloud-based products and services that governments can use to become more focused on citizens?
  • Who’s used these before, and how?
  • Which services work particularly well together?
  • Are there common service patterns that can drive intelligent service design?
  • Are there other shared resources we can use, for example reference architectures, code libraries, APIs?
  • Are there emerging ‘go-to’ stacks for this?

What is Connective Intelligence?

Connective intelligence is a term popularised in the The Fourth Revolution, which describes how emerging, data-driven technology capabilities such as AI, blockchain, process automation, and telematics are starting to enable faster, more user-centred and continually evolving service offerings which learn from our behaviour today to anticipate how to serve us better tomorrow.

Find out how we can help you

Mark Thompson

CIU Director at Methods

Professor in Digital Economy at Exeter University

Speak to Mark Thompson for more information on CIU

or call us on 020 7240 1121.