Fighting drug abuse with data analytics
Drug and Alcohol Action Team uses SAS® to tackle drugs and save lives by improving joined-up delivery
As any public servant knows, the best efforts to help people in need often require cooperation from multiple agencies and organizations. When those agencies can put shared data to use in their efforts to solve problems, they can often make improvements more quickly and provide help to even more constituents.
One successful example is the London Borough of Croydon’s Drug and Alcohol Action Team (DAAT), a multiagency effort that uses SAS software to achieve better results in its efforts to:
- Get more people into drug treatment.
- Reduce drug-related crime.
- Empower the local community to resist drug misuse.
Treatment where it’s needed
In particular, SAS gives the DAAT greater insights to commission services more effectively and to target the borough’s resources where they can have the biggest impact. SAS delivers a more “joined-up” approach to allocating treatment across various agencies, which results in the most effective treatment being more quickly assigned to users who really need it.
As a multiagency public sector partnership, Croydon’s DAAT unites representatives from the local council, health service, police and criminal justice system, and the voluntary sector. SAS software helps the DAAT to plan treatment modernization services that deliver effective treatment structures for substance misuse and ensures that the work of local agencies and cross-agency projects are integrated successfully.
SAS software also helps the DAAT to automate statutory “Green Reports” for the National Drug Treatment Monitoring System as well as key performance indicator (KPI) reporting against national Home Office targets. As a result, operational effectiveness at the local level is improved by cutting administration time from over a week down to half a day.
With SAS, the DAAT can perform analysis in line with national KPIs for drug treatments, monitor the local agencies’ performances and explore new ways to deliver improved treatment structures within their very tight budgets.
“By using SAS, we can analyze the success and failure of specific treatment programs and see whether our treatment structure actually meets the needs of the local population,” says Ray Rajagopalan, Data Manager at Croydon’s DAAT. “SAS saves us time by being able to immediately detect weaknesses in the system rather than waiting a year or more before an issue becomes apparent.”
Improve local treatment systems
With the ability to pre-empt problems and do things at a much quicker pace, DAAT employees can identify early indicators and take corrective actions sooner in the reporting cycle. “SAS software enables DAAT decision makers to get on with sorting problems out, making changes and reallocating resources to improve the local treatment system and provide more effective front-line services,” says Rajagopalan.
Before SAS, the DAAT used basic spreadsheet tools such as Microsoft Excel and Access, which were unable to manage its growing volumes of data or quickly provide the comprehensive
Changing lives for the better
Rajagopalan continues: “Having proper analytics from SAS provides us with a range of benefits that we never had before. It is improving the time scales required to produce comprehensive analysis.”
Ian Manocha, Managing Director of SAS UK, states: “It’s an honor for SAS to be an integral part of the DAAT process in tackling drugs and ultimately saving lives. It’s great to see that our strength in analytics can help apply resources in the best way and change the lives of real people for the better.”
SAS Business Analytics software was implemented by SAS partner Base 3.