Welsh councils need to make better use of data to improve services, according to regulators.
Auditor general for Wales, Adrian Crompton, says local authorities are sitting on a ‘rich vein’ of personal, financial and community information.
His report - 'The maturity of local government in use of data' - says few councils get the most from the information they hold.
A new approach would help make better use of resources, improve decision making and create stronger governance and accountability, it argued.
The report says local authorities should have a 'clear vision that treats data as a key resource'.
It recommends they should invest in the development of staff skills in data analytics, mining and segmentation.
Mr Crompton said: 'It’s really important that local government starts to create a culture where elected members, senior officers and front line staff think about and use data differently.
'This report identifies the key steps that can be taken to create a data-driven environment – focusing on clear leadership, strong vision and breaking silo working.'