If there's one thing that larger organisations have its data. Lots of it.
In working with a Primary Care Trust, we discovered that statistical data needed to be collated and gathered into one central place and presented in a fashion that made sense to everyone. This amounted to a huge challenge but we came up with an easy solution.
For many organisations, solving a huge data-crunching problem would involve teams of people, banks of computers and round the clock working but none of these resources were available nor could they be funded. We had to help them solve their problem in a different way.
The original solution for this project used a website which was more an expression of the designer's personality and understanding of the then-new language of HTML, rather than provide a useful interface. We helped them to develop a new website which became something useful to decision makers and the general public alike. Research teams used it. Schools used it. Local Authorities used it.
Initially the web site itself took the raw statistical data and, in the background, converted it into presentable graphs. As the project developed, it was possible to take the raw data and collated data together and produce trending data automatically; all of the donkey work being done by a computer in a data centre so that the small team could concentrate on expanding their data sources and produce reliable statistics.
We like to think of this as a shining example of how some alternative thinking was deployed in a large enterprise to innovatively solve a complicated challenge.