Working with employee survey data isn’t easy, but getting it right can transform an organisation. Avon and Somerset Police knew this, and the dynamic staff survey analytics platform it created in response to an inefficient manual system exemplifies the power of digitisation to unleash people – and business – potential.

Recognising a convoluted system in which localised departmental analysis varied in quality, the force’s organisational development and business intelligence teams combined forces and shifted the process from a static force report to an interactive dashboard app.

If tech in people’s minds connotes complexity or difficulty, this is a case study in the opposite. The doors of the reimagined data gathering process were flung open and interaction, participation and engagement became integral.

Baked into the company’s strategic goals – being a data-driven learning organisation where employee voice matters – the dynamic new platform enabled department heads to not only track top level measures but explore and understand their own data better.

Instead of working separately, local leadership teams were instead encouraged to explore results collectively and the results were for the first time accessible to the wider workforce, promoting transparency.

The rejuvenated people survey captured areas previously not understood such as neurodiversity, with such spotlighted data informing inclusion strategies and the monitoring and evaluation of their impact.

Whereas before the report writer had to choose which elements to focus on, the multi-dimensional and democratic structure of the Qlik platform allowed users to take the wheel and find out what they were interested in.

On why they took the leap the force said: “The organisation has been on a journey over recent years to become more data driven throughout all levels of the organisation. We are nurturing data driven leadership and seeking to increase workforce literacy [because] we believe being evidence based and data driven is key to running an efficient, effective and legitimate police service. That is why drawing on valuable people data to inform planning and organisational learning is key.”

And it’s paid dividends. After one year of democratised data-gathering and presentation, improvements were reported across all top level metrics, from employee engagement to the perception the employer was committed to diversity and inclusion. Now in its third year, the platform continues to be refined and optimised to play a critical role in shaping inclusion strategies.

The judges were impressed by the way the initiative “puts power in the hands of the users” and how end users can “drill down and slice and dice information at speed, joining dots and connecting different data sources”.

They said: “This is usable, actionable data. Avon and Somerset Police is our winner because it’s clear they’re delivering on their strategic goal of driving a diverse and inclusive workforce through their innovative and effective combination of data, leadership and clarity of purpose.”