Data as an asset in social care

Building a new kind of social care champion


Delivering better services and making more informed decisions on the future of social care

Data is recognised to be an asset in social care. It ensures that decision-making is evidence-driven, transparent, and complies with legislation and policy.

However, the data needed for care services is often difficult to collect and access.

As a result, data assets are not being fully exploited to provide better and more efficient care services.

Solving the problem

Social Care Wales commissioned Urban Foresight to advise on ways to use data to future-proof services across the country.

Our task was to review data assets and explain how they could contribute to longer-term ambitions to create a healthier country where everyone can access care.

This was done through data mapping, desk research, stakeholder interviews, capacity assessments, and horizon scanning.


Our work identified opportunities to improve the use of data to deliver better services and make more informed decisions about the future of social care.

We showed why data assets are important to Social Care Wales and explained the opportunities to improve services and performance.

We audited the data and systems that Social Care Wales currently collects. This identified 26 systems which create or store data. We also profiled the categories of datasets collected by these different systems.

Examples of emerging good practice in data use were described, alongside technical and organisational barriers to be overcome.

This informed recommendations on what Social Care Wales could do differently to realise the potential of data.

We identified technical and operational changes, measures to improve data quality, and actions to create a culture of data use.


Image credit: Alexander Sinn