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Councils making ground in digital productivity: report
Most councils are in favour of an 'open data' environment
Local councils in Queensland have made big improvements to the way they manage the huge amount of information they collect and are looking for new opportunities to use data to improve their businesses, according to a comprehensive report.
The report also found that an overwhelming majority of councils regularly used social media to engage with their communities, while more than a quarter were using drone technology to manage assets.
The 2017 Digital Productivity Report, commissioned by the Local Government Association of Queensland, found that councils were taking a leadership role in ensuring their communities got the most out of the digital economy.
A survey of Queensland councils as part of the report found that most councils are in favour of an 'open data' environment where they would share their data with the wider community to help find new ways to meet business and economic challenges.
The report, the third in a series, tracks how councils are performing in regard to the digital economy and analyses trends in the use of new and emerging technologies in local government.
Despite the increasing awareness among councils of the productivity benefits they can derive from the digital economy, the report contains some concerning findings about the extent of connectivity in the community and the supply of a skilled workforce.
'Only 55 percent of councils reported their community having access to high quality internet in their local areas; up only eight percent (from 47 percent) when first surveyed in 2013,' the report said.
'A lack of skilled workers is also a growing concern with 75 percent of councils agreeing that there is a skills shortage for the digital economy in Queensland.'
It warns that councils wanting to 'maintain a healthy digital trajectory' should work to digitally upskill current employees and their communities, innovate and collaborate with each other and industry, and lobby for support to resolve connectivity issues.
About 84 percent of councils agree that they have a role to foster and support local businesses and residents participate in the digital economy despite this not being a traditional area of responsibility. This is up from 56% in the 2015 report.
The report was developed in partnership with GWI and with assistance from the Telstra-Local Buy Industry Development Fund.
Copies of the report can be found at http://bit.ly/digitalproductivity
Local Government Association of Queensland
LG House, 25 Evelyn Street, Newstead Qld 4006
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