DataBridge Fridays #1

Today is the first of my DataBridge Fridays, my regular day at the OCSI offices in sunny Brighton, where we’ve been bashing out the details of how we think DataBridge will work.

With the back drop of tweeted news about the local election results and accompanied by quantities of Earl Grey, we have spent some quality time going through the detail of what we want to offer with DataBridge.


Graham (left) and Tom at OCSI’s tidy and organised offices.

So, here’s where we’re up to at the end of my first DataBridge Friday:

This pilot is running on a zero budget – but we’re not seeing this as a problem!  Tom has committed 10 free days of OCSI analyst time to the project and I am giving a day or two a week in project management, liaising with the groups and CVS Forum, examining the links with Brighton & Hove’s Intelligent Commissioning programme and their city-wide data work. The CVS Forum is supporting the project too and their Policy & Research Manager, Emma, has been a fount of excellent advice so far.

Emma, Tom and I have been speaking about the groups we should approach to be involved in the pilot.  The criteria we’ve come up with between us are:

  • 1-2 larger organisations that provide a range of services, have more than one contract with local government (council, health, police)
  • 1-2 medium sized organisations, perhaps focused on a narrower service or group of people
  • 1-2 small, user-led organisations
  • Groups who have a commitment to the quality of their own information, want to use it more effectively and want to help improve the way we use data in Brighton & Hove.
  • Groups who are able to put in approx 3-5 days time of a suitable person during May, June & July
  • Groups who are happy for this piece of work to be very open, collaborative, to blog and be blogged about, to be used as case studies in the evaluation and in conversations nationally about open data, for the reports produced as part of the project to be shared.
  • Groups who sit comfortably (even if not directly) under the themes for the next Intelligent Commissioning round.

For all of the groups involved we will be able to provide:

  • a 1:1 assessment of the groups’ use of data for fundraising, advocacy, evidence of impact, influencing & policy work.
  • advice on next steps on how to develop their work and capacity, and where to go for further resources and support,
  • a link into a local network and any ongoing support from the Forum

With about 3 (probably) of the groups OCSI will be able to go into much greater detail and provide a detailed report using the groups’ own data, existing published datasets and, potentially, relevant datasets provided to us by the local authority. This will be followed up with a feedback session showing ‘the workings’ – how the report was constructed and how it can be replicated. Wider sharing of learning and evaluation will follow this.

Next week looks like it will be about starting to talk to the groups, refining the details of this offer after hearing what they have to say; talking to Brighton Council about BHLIS (Brighton & Hove Local Information Service) and doing more work on the project plan and researching the baseline questionnaire.

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