Using data & insight

I’ve written about how we can use data & insight in public services, what types of insight we have to work with and how we can leverage it to rapidly support services.

We know there’s a diversity of data and insights we can use to show the impact of the council and our communities in improving outcomes, to enable communities to create and use their own data & insights to improve their neighbourhoods and to identify opportunities for improvement and mobilise people to tackle them.

Here are three ways I’ve seen or been involved in you can do that innovatively.

The Open Data Challenge was an excellent way to show people with different skills in our communities how they could use data to tackle challenges, from commissioners, frontline staff, universities and other researchers, entrepreneurs, investors and of course residents. I tried something similar with Transformed by You and Made in Lambeth, and I’d recommend the handbook that NESTA created to help others run their challenges.

How about enabling communities to create their own tools that give them greater ownership of using data? I love the Bristol Approach which takes a very open and inclusive approach to show how residents can shape and create technology. It builds on the amazing work in Bristol that has blazed the way on using open data to tackle inclusion and support the development of apps by young people. I worked with a local early intervention partnership and a service design agency to work with families living in overcrowded housing to look at how they could better look out for each other and better understand the factors that influenced their wellbeing.

Sometimes, you need to create ways for people to share their lived experiences in ways that treat them with dignity and show the richness of people’s lives. Working with European Alternatives we co-designed several living libraries with people to help them develop their stories or “living books” and the Empathy Museum takes this and makes it three dimensional with physical exhibits and working with the communities to create stories that help people put themselves in other people’s shoes.

Head of Strategy (Communities) @camdencouncil #localgov Director @euroalter Co-founder of #systemschange & #servicedesign progs. inspired by @cescaalbanese