Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council

Outcome of Expression of Interest: Not shortlisted

Automation of Universal Credit Data Hubs.

Wigan Council was a `Full Service` site for Universal Credit from 18-April-2018. Automation into our system was crucial to ensure that the XML file from the DWP was processed quickly and efficiently to ensure that volumes of work are managed, specific data hubs are prioritised and Speed of Processing figures are maintained.

We initially had an issue with the data hubs as prior to automation we had a 100% manual caseload, which we needed to reduce in which we needed to agree and test parameters, cross references and outcome groups which would ultimately drive the automation of the hub.

This was tested in a phased approach applying different logics to each parameter and referencing to our CTR scheme. We applied  cross references to localised codes we used.  Finally the outcome groups, needed to be personalised to our councils preference and tested for the outcome.

Once we were happy with this model, we tested various output files and implemented these into our Document Management System.

The current solution still has manual elements, which our current system doesn’t allow improvements, which we would aim to build a robotic function that could achieve the following;

  • Removal of data cleansing issues
  • An increase in successful matched records
  • Removal of manual intervention
  • Increase in accuracy
  • Improved reporting measures

Universal Credit roll out time frame dictates the level of automation and development stages, as Wigan have been through the Discovery process we felt this was important to share knowledge with our neighbouring North West colleagues. We collated and documented our journey with the relevant pivotal points and held an information session.  We will work in partnership with any local authorities that wish to take part in this project.

Discovery evidence

From April 2018 we did a discovery that helped us to test and learn what we could successfully automate. Our findings showed that;

  • High volumes of indexing for staff – 3 members of staff
  • A poor matching criteria
  • Data cleansing issues
  • Difference in information from the DWP and local authority data, not knowing if the information was correct

To help achieve some of these issues we made changes to introduce new rules to the index files, and reintroduced a second index file to prevent failure. This consisted of 3 members of staff fully testing the process to include variations of data that come through the data hubs, however all issues haven’t been resolved and still scope for further development.

At present we have 100% active processes in our document management system we wish to achieve outcomes based on the status of the hub within Northgate, for example if this is outstanding or processed by Northgate we want to move to a phase in which our document management system matches this action and therefore only quality data remains active.


  • Introduction to service design
  • Introduction to product management

Other training requests

We have staff with specific system database knowledge, eg Northgate and Civica, who understand the system and where certain elements of information would automate. However, we lack expertise in: - Building index files, scripts - Document management system technical functions