Dear Data to Insight colleagues –
Please find below another bundle of news, within which I hope you’ll find something of interest. As always, if you want to talk about this stuff, or have ideas for how we can do useful things – or how you’d like to get involved – then reply to this email and let me know what you’re thinking about.
1. ChAT and BMt updates
2. Early Help data partnership
3. Apprenticeships cohort #3 open for applications
4. D2I job advert
5. British Data Awards
1. ChAT and BMt updates – including outcomes data
ChAT and BMt are now both up to date with the recent Outcomes for Children in Need Including Children Looked After data from DfE. The Benchmarking Tool also has an extra Charts (3) tab which allows you to quickly contextualise your LA or region against the background of various greyed-out comparators. The image on the left below shows an LA compared to the other LAs in their region; the image on the right shows an LA, region and England with grey lines behind showing how the other regions compare.
If you are working with either tool then do let us know about any bugs or unexpected behaviour you find so we can put these right for all users.
2. Early Help data standards – invitation to book a user research interview
Last week marked the beginning of the user research phase of our Early Help data standards project. We’ve been meeting with colleagues in local authorities across the country to talk about what their Early Help looks like, and how they use data to understand the support they offer to children and families. We’re asking them to tell us what challenges they face, and what they think matters most in this area. We’ve also visited some regional groups to talk about the project, and have more lined up in the coming weeks.
We’ve had an excellent response so far, but we’re still looking for more LAs to participate in these conversations. Getting the widest possible range of views will help ensure we’re taking the right approach for the next stages. Please get in touch, if you can give us an hour of your time to help with this exciting project, or pass on to the relevant people in your organisation.
For more information get in touch
3. Apprenticeships cohort #3 – applications are now open and briefing sessions upcoming
We are now launching applications for the third cohort of our Children’s Services Data Analyst apprenticeship. As mentioned in the last newsletter, we are running two different levels of the apprenticeship for this cohort. We are offering a repeat of the L4 Data Analyst course and also supplementing with a L3 Data Professional course. The application form contains guidance on the target audience for each course level, but please do get in touch with any further queries about which course level is right for you.
Briefing sessions for the apprenticeship will take place in mid-late April and provide a great opportunity to learn more about the course and ask questions. If you are interested in attending any of the sessions below, please get in touch and you will be forwarded an invitation. You are welcome to attend more than one session:
• Tuesday 19th April 10:00-11:00 - Overview of both the L3 and L4 courses. This can be seen as a prelude prior to attending a briefing session of a given programme.
• Thursday 21st April 14:00-15:00 - Overview of both the L3 and L4 courses. This can be seen as a prelude prior to attending a briefing session of a given programme.
• Monday 25th April 14:00-15:00 - Overview of the L3 course.
• Tuesday 26th April 11:00-12:00 - Overview of L4 course.
You can download the application form and the course's software whitelisting document, as well as some other supporting information, from our website: Apprenticeships | Data to Insight. The deadline for submitting application forms is May 13th (with some leeway for late applications depending on LA procurement) with teaching expected to start in June.
To be booked into a briefing session, submit your completed application form or ask any queries regarding the apprenticeships please contact Georgie (firstname.lastname@example.org).
4. D2I job advert – Data Advocate
Our project with Wigan Council and partners to collaboratively develop a Python data cleaning tool for the SSDA903 dataset is live at SSDA903 Validation Tool (datatoinsight.org), and we’ll be working to further develop this tool over the coming year. This has been a great way for participating data analysts all over the country to learn new skills working with data they know, and it’s produced one tool already which we think will make a big difference to our data quality work in children’s services. The goal for the end of the project will be a more configurable/re-purposable data tool from which analysts can take “building blocks” to create new functionality quickly and share it back to other D2I users. If that doesn’t sound exciting to you, it might be better to say that the first key deliverable will almost certainly be a CIN Census version of the 903 tool.
To support that, we are advertising a 12 month post (secondment optional) with the interesting job title of “Data Advocate” to transfer the project outputs from our colleagues at Social Finance into the core D2I toolkit and working spaces. This will involve a combination of learning Python and Git organisation to take over management of the project, and working with colleagues in partner LAs to make the process of working with our code as easy and effective as possible. We don’t necessarily expect you to be a Python/Git wizard before starting, but we do expect you to demonstrate an aptitude for this kind of work through prior experience, either in those or other technical disciplines. Equally, you’ll need to be able to document working practices, and support colleagues in making high quality code additions to our tools.
The role will also support with our core D2I work, and figuring out how that aligns with the new stuff – including taking forward work we’ve started with colleagues at Bristol Council to look at establishing a code library which can be accessed through the website. This will be for things like snippets of code you’ve written against a CSC management information system/data warehouse, which other LAs might find useful to “borrow”, or report schemas for particular reporting tools that others might find useful.
5. British Data Awards shortlist
If you follow D2I’s Twitter or LinkedIn accounts, you’ll have spotted that Data to Insight is shortlisted for "Data for Good Initiative of the Year" and "Data Leader of the Year" in the impressively-named (industry-sponsored) British Data Awards 2022.
We were nominated by our partners Corndel, who deliver our apprenticeship scheme, in recognition of how much work we do on what they referred to as a “shoestring” budget. We’re up against some interesting competition so we’re just enjoying the spots on the shortlists before the awards happen in May!
Credit for recent improvements to our data tools is due to colleagues in:
Credit for the successful DLUHC bid for the early help work is due to colleagues in:
South East Sector Led Improvement Programme (SESLIP)
East Midlands Data Leads Group (EMDLG)
Association of Directors of Children’s Services North West (ADCS-NW)
Eastern Region Early Help Assistant Directors Group
Association of Directors of Children’s Services North East (ADCS-NE)
DLUHC Families Team
Credit for the successful bid to fund the data quality work is due to colleagues in:
DLUHC Local Digital Collaboration Unit
Credit for the British Data Awards shortlisting is due to:
Everyone, really! Thanks very much for continuing to help make this work for local authorities.
That’s it! If you have any comments, queries or ideas that you want to share, just let me know.