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Digital robot saves five years in administrative time

Conwy Council has successfully migrated 11 million data records in just four months, by supporting its team with a digital workforce of 40 virtual robots. As a result, the team has achieved a time saving equivalent to 2,000 working days.

Through its digital transformation, Conwy Council successfully migrated 130,000 client documents from its outdated legacy Social Services application, into the standard Wales Community Care Information System (WCCIS), using Robotic Process Automation (RPA). This project would have taken a full-time staff member more than five years to complete manually. In addition to freeing up the team to focus on the delivery of important social services, the RPA technology has also further enabled the council to achieve cost savings in the region of £40,000 per year, as a result of no longer having to maintain its legacy system and support access to it.

The challenge presented was a time sensitive issue – Conwy Council’s legacy system licences were due to expire in December 2020, so the data migration needed to be completed by the end of March 2021. As well as having to be completed ahead of a strict deadline, it was essential that personal information was treated in a GDPR compliant manner, as these records are highly confidential.

The council sought to create an end-to-end digital process. Instead of investing in various APIs with vendors of different systems, it opted for an investment into an RPA platform that could be utilised across the authority, which was a far more cost effective solution.

Following a comprehensive review of Conwy Council’s previous system and the deliverables required, it established that migrating to a new corporate management system could not be completed as a simple CSV extract. Instead, the council worked alongside NDL to create an RPA platform, choosing NDL’s low-code development toolkit - featuring a drag-and-drop functionality that enabled the Conwy team to be in full control of the migration. During the migration, all historical citizen records had to remain readily available.

After the initial build process was completed, the innovative approach was tested with support from an NDL Product Consultant to fully review the script, before being put into the live environment. Kickstarting in early December of 2020, 40 robots were used to migrate the data from the legacy system into the new corporate document management system, which was completed on schedule by the end of March of this year.

Saving such an extraordinary amount of valuable working time is critical to ensuring those relying on Conwy Council’s social care services continue to get the very best care, especially as such a high proportion of the population are elderly citizens.

Commenting on the success of the project, Principle Technical Solutions Architect at Conwy Council, Will Valentine said: “The migration project has been a huge success for Conwy Council and has allowed us to migrate across 11 million highly confidential Social Care records with complete confidence. NDL was the obvious partner for this project, due to its strong public sector focus. From start to finish, the NDL team has provided fantastic support by sharing their technical knowhow, skills and scripts to ensure a smooth and efficient migration process”

Tom Wright, Head of Digital Engagement at NDL added: “Seeing the outstanding results achieved by Will and the team in Conwy shows how RPA technology can empower teams to meet incredible challenges head on while continuing to deliver the very best service for the public. The whole process has been extremely rewarding and we’re proud to have played a part in Conwy Council’s digital transformation.”

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