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August 31, 2011 / Jo Ivens

DataBridge: end of summer update

So it’s approaching Back to School time, and the hazy days of summer are nearly gone, but here at DataBridge we have not been spending all our time on the beaches of Brighton & Hove. Here’s my end of summer DataBridge update: 


Gratuitous comdey picture of overcrowding at Brighton Beach. *disclaimer - I have never seen the beach like this.

We completed our interviews with the 6 groups in early summer, and our reports have now gone to the groups. These are partly an assessment of where each organisation is with data gathering and analysis, and partly a series of recommendations on how to enhance what they currently do, plus suggested sources of data that they may find helpful. The reports will be published on these pages with the consent of the groups, and in the next couple of weeks we’ll be starting to post up the findings from the the group as a whole, plus a collated list of our recommendations and ideas on data sources.

As this is a light touch piece of local investigative work we have not written a long project summary but will be posting up a series of blogs talking about the findings, the issues arising and some of the strategic or policy implications. We hope that others in Brighton & Hove will comment on these, respond to what we’re saying, tell us about their experiences and ideas.

Meanwhile, in ‘phase 2’ of the work, more detailed analysis of a specific data ‘brief’, OCSI have been collaborating with Amaze to compare their COMPASS database with other datasets, to highlight where there are particular neighbourhoods or groups that are under-represented in COMPASS. This could be used by Amaze to target work to increase take-up in certain areas, illustrate specific areas of need, target marketing, or to develop contact with gateway workers. 

We chose this as it is a piece of work that could be usefully replicated by other groups with their own user group and databases. The approach and data sources used here can be replicated by many other VCS organisations. We’re using open source tools and OCSI will produce ‘how to’ guides for the basic techniques they use, all to be published here. 

Towards the end of October we will be holding a feedback event with Dialogue 50:50 – the cross-sectoral partnership group on measurement, evaluation and voice. We plan to spend half of the time on sharing learning, including demonstration from OCSI of their work with Amaze (including how this could be replicated in other organisations) and to discuss common issues with data analysis, data use and data sharing. The other half will be a discussion with Brighton & Hove on the City’s plans and ambitions on city-wide intelligence, data-sharing, and open data. I hope that this will inform any response from Brighton to the government’s Open Data consultation (closing 27 Oct).  



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