Bundaberg Regional Community’s economic development executive Ben Artup speaks at the LGAQ annual conference in Cairns. Picture: LGAQ
Bundaberg Regional Community’s economic development executive Ben Artup speaks at the LGAQ annual conference in Cairns. Picture: LGAQ

Explained: How Bundy council is using data to evolve

BUNDABERG Regional Council has begun evolving in its operations through data analytics.

Bundaberg Regional Council's economic development executive Ben Artup has advocated the benefits of using data analysts from a Local Government Association of Queensland funded scheme.

In the past two months it interpreted its electricity use through the LGAQ's LG Sherlock scheme.

The data is then compared to other councils, which are unidentified.

Mr Artup said that the council had been doing this with its electricity use, and already found minor ways of improving it.

"We can see if there's any anomalies of what we're doing … if there's spiking … why are our halls using more electricity than the other halls in Queensland for example, and that will help us with our asset management," Mr Artup said.

The council was intending on submitting data that could interpret its waste management, its phone data, and the efficiency of its vehicle fleet.

But this data was only being taken from council assets.

Ratepayers' data was not being used.

"It's all council operations at the moment, it's effectively so we can cut costs and be more efficient bringing our costs down and analysing our data across all that," he said.

But Mr Artup said that using community data could be a future possibility, and he would be happy to support community groups that would be open to using their data to improve efficiency.

"But that's the next generation of these types of dashboards, it's not what we're doing right now," he said.

"The next second or third generations, we could do something like that with the community, but we've got a few steps before we even think about that."

Mr Artup advocated LG Sherlock at LGAQ's annual conference in Cairns on Tuesday.

He listed the key projects that the council was doing to promote innovation.

He mentioned light pollution sensors on 75 poles which collected data on urban glow.

It is designed to protect nesting sea turtles.

Mr Artup proposed that the technology could be taken further.

"What we want to do is work with the community business sector and say 'what else can we do?'

"'What other ideas have people got that we can do with it."

The data could potentially solve problems or create new development.

"Who knows? That's the beauty of it," he said.

"You never know what might come out of it, what data you can find."



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