Benchmarking tools are available and invaluable

Published: 1st October 2021

Sermon on the Mount

What's the old saying - 'When Moses spoke, the bull rushed out'? Thankfully this is a BS-free page; guaranteed no fertiliser.

Greg on horse


My missive this week is on mirrors. Looking into them, more precisely comparing your place to other communities and councils - getting a honest read as to how your council is travelling.

Benchmarking tools are available to you

One of the greatest insights a council can get is from looking into the mirror and really scrutinising how you compare with your fellow councils and communities.

Taking the opportunity for self-reflection and constructive critique is one of the reasons Queensland’s councils lead the pack nationally.

Getting an honest read on where your council is leading, keeping up with pack or lagging gives you the opportunity to make impactful changes that better deliver for your community and create a more effective council. 

The LGAQ has provided the mirrors for member councils for decades.

We have several tools that allow you to take control of your data, use it to help you better understand where you’re positioned against other councils and ultimately make smart, data driven decisions to help your community.

Benchmarking tools and apps are the key to helping you lead the way, and at times just to get you started on the journey.

One of the frustrations of mine, grumpy old bugger that I am, is councils don’t use these tools anywhere near enough, even though we have them available right now. 

Historically, the LGAQ has provided benchmarking tools such as Ready. Set. Go. to provide insights into how your council compares with others using publicly available ABS data and council annual reports.

The beauty of this kind of tool is that it provides a grading from 1-5 to show you immediately where your council sits and gives you a snapshot of areas for improvement.

I’m excited that with the new Data and Analytics as a Service option here at LGAQ, we will be offering more customised benchmarking than ever before, with enterprise and bespoke dashboards available to show you extremely contextual and personalised insight into your council.

We’ve listened, and we’ve heard you say that you want easy to use, quick to access tools that can offer a high-level executive view but can drill down into detail for those who need it and that’s what we are offering you now.

The LGAQ’s Data and Analytics team are some of the smartest working in the state right now.

Building on our extremely sophisticated LG Sherlock data lake platform, which houses significant amounts of data from local councils across the state, we are excited at being able to bring data and analytic capabilities and thought leadership to every one of our councils.

We have several benchmarking tools available now, including our Energy Detective, Fleet Detective, Communications Detective and Waste Detective.

All our products not only identify cost efficiencies for your council but give you deep insights into how you compare against other councils in your region and statewide. 

Using Energy Detective you can identify energy billing anomalies, benchmark energy costs across councils, leading to better savings and understanding of where you sit compared to others.

In Waste Detective you can compare and benchmark your waste related activities across councils and understand your DES levy charges better.

Identify cost and utilisation trends for your fleet over time, as well as cost savings and safety analysis, comparing yourself to similar sized fleets statewide is provided through Fleet Detective.

If you want to know how your communications costs compare to other councils, you can get insights into your trending analysis of communications costs and compare average cost of devices with other local government in Queensland.

It’s all there for you folks. Not only that but we’re already building much more capacity and other tools for you as well.

This kind of information is gold, because you can learn from each other and start conversations on what your fellow local government family is doing to deliver better for their community.

As well as our LG Sherlock tools, the team are now offering a full suite of benchmarking reports, dashboards and training which will position Queensland’s local government sector as the smartest in the nation. 

We’ll be introducing you to all these wonderful new insights and opportunities at our annual conference in Mackay, but until then you can reach out to our Manager Data and Analytics, Kate Zubrinich or get in touch through our wonderful Member Engagement team, Brett Johnson or Mary Lockton.

It’s up to you folks.

The mirrors exist and we’re here to hold them up for you. It’s over to you now to start using the tools we’ve got for you to extract and compare your data and go from strength to strength. 

Waste Forum

Finally, I want to congratulate the LGAQ’s Public Health and Waste lead Robert Ferguson, policy officer Rudolf Pretzler, Events Coordinator Nicole Johnson, our Communications Advisor and MC extraordinaire Tim Cox and the rest of the team behind another successful LGAQ Waste Forum.

A big thank you also to those members who shared their stories with the forum like Scenic Rim Region Mayor Greg Christensen and Mareeba Shire Mayor Angela Toppin and to our guest speakers.

More than 100 people were in attendance. We look forward to continuing the conversation at the next one.