Oxfordshire County Council

Outcome of Expression of Interest: Not shortlisted

Trial speech-to-text software in the Quality & Contracts team with a view to roll wider across the organization. The Activity Analysis performed in July ‘17 at Oxfordshire County Council highlighted that 18.6% of staff effort was spent on Data Entry & Recording and General Admin processes. This amounts to £24.8m of FTE costs per year. This proposal aims to build on an initial pilot of Speech-to-Text software, for Social Workers who currently spend an average of 23% of their time on Data Entry and Recording. This provides a huge opportunity to reduce staff time spent on activities that do not benefit vulnerable residents, and allow staff to focus their efforts on activities that do.
This proposed project is to extend a trial with staff members in Quality & Contracts (Q&C) and Commisioning teams. The key driver for both teams is the creation and production of extensive reports that are shared with customers. Several of these reports are tabled in committee meetings and governance boards – which means a high level of effort needs to go into creating them. Both teams are likely to have fewer data protection issues.
The extension of the trial is likely to take 25 weeks, cost £50, 000 including staff time. This will cover providing software to staff, training staff and monitoring the benefits of the project. This will allow any issues in the roll-out to be identified early.

Discovery evidence


A key theme within the OCC Corporate plan is to become more efficient in order to target our resources at the most vulnerable residents. Employing the use of speech-to-text  software allows our most valuable resource – our workforce – to spend less time on administrative tasks and more time supporting vulnerable Oxfordshire residents.

The Activity Analysis highlighted that a relatively large amount of effort (18.6%) is spent on Data Entry & Recording and General Admin processes. There is clear scope for improvement in this area of the Council, and commercially available Speech-to-Text software is showing that it can positively affect this to a large extent.

The existing live trial (which focuses on 15 staff in the Quality and Contracts team.) has shown they spend an estimated 18.5-20 hours per week on processes that can be supported by Speech-to-text software. We aim to show that this technology can reduce the time spent on these processes by 10%, leading to a time saving of 18.5-20 hours and extend this to other areas of adult and social care and potential to care workers – the current trial is already showing strong evidence to support this. The proposed solution  and extension has been informed by the following

Knowledge – Our decisions will be informed by sound business intelligence and data analytics. This project builds on the analysis done in the Activity Analysis, which highlighted that a comparatively high amount if effort is proportioned to Data Entry and Recording and General Admin.

Why now? Companies such as Microsoft and Google have invested heavily into the development of this software, and the technology is now at the maturity required to work accurately without the need for lengthy training. The widespread use of Cortana and Siri have led to a greater acceptance of this software, with people being more ready to use this in their daily life.

  • Digital and agile awareness
  • Introduction to product management