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D2I news for July: Datasets, documents, and disproportionality...

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. Statutory return prediction tools – minor fixes

2. Disproportionality calculator – minor fixes

3. RIIA collection sheet – minor fixes

4. Early Help Data Partnership – feedback sessions next week

5. Annual report to colleagues

6. D2I code library

7. Slack “talk” channels

8. Credits

1. Statutory return prediction tools – now ready for 2022

SSDA903 Statutory Returns Predictor | Data to Insight

CIN Census Statutory Returns Predictor | Data to Insight

I’ve made some minor fixes to the above tools. There’s one still outstanding which I’m afraid have defeated me for the time being: the long term accommodation measure is ignoring recent placement changes where the most recent episode change was a “T” change. This will or won’t affect your data depending how many “T” episode changes you have on record. More on this soon, I hope.


Otherwise, the tools are both updated to work with this year’s SSDA903 and CIN Census output formats, including updating the benchmarking tables to include the 2020-21 national data, and since our last newsletter we’ve fixed about half a dozen minor calculation issues reported by colleagues using the 903 tool. To use the SSDA903 tool, you need the CSV child-level outputs from the return site. To use the CIN Census tool you need the summary reports from COLLECT. There are instructions on the first tabs of each tool, but just let us know if you run into any problems. The trickiest bit for most users seems to be sorting the lists appropriately in the SSDA903 tool, so do read those instructions carefully if you’re getting an error message.

2. Disproportionality Calculator – minor fixes

Disproportionality Calculator | Data to Insight


Georgie writes:


A new version of the Disproportionality Calculator has been launched. The tool has now been updated with the latest population figures from DfE. Some of the ethnicity group details have also been updated in line with the new population data. Version 1.03 of the tool is available for download on the D2I website (link above).


The Disproportionality Calculator lets you paste a breakdown by ethnicity of a cohort of your choosing, and compare this to the general population in your area. This helps analysts to explore how proportionately or disproportionately different groups of children are represented in various cohorts.


3. RIIA Collection Sheet – minor fixes


RIIA Quarterly Collection Sheet | Data to Insight


Thanks to everyone who got in touch about the RIIA quarterly collection sheet, I’ve put a slightly updated version on the website. The changes this time are purely to do with definitions and FAQ items, so you don’t need to download a fresh copy before completing this quarter’s return. The most important is that some definitions for the workforce measures – which we’ll be collecting for Q1 in delayed fashion, alongside the Q2 data for other measures – have had some attention to make them a bit clearer.


Several regions are using a bespoke template for the RIIA collection so if that is the case in your region, please keep using the sheet provided by your regional data co-ordinator.


4. Early Help Data Partnership – feedback sessions next week

John writes:


We’ve now completed the initial user research phase of this project, having spoken to lots of colleagues in over 20 local authorities across the country. We’re very grateful to everyone who has given their time to help us better understand what their Early Help looks like. We’re running a couple of feedback sessions to share what we’ve learned so far, and talk about next steps. These have been booked for:


• Monday 18th July - 14:00 to 15:00

• Wednesday 20th July – 10:00 to 11:00


If you’d like to attend – please send confirmation of which session you’d prefer to John by email, or to our generic email address, and I will send you an invite to the MS Teams meeting.


5. Annual report to colleagues


D2I annual governance reports | Data to Insight

Last September, I wrote a "first year retrospective" report and shared it with everyone involved in D2I. I wanted to play back all the work we'd done, review our successes and learning points, and outline plans for the following year. This year we're sharing an annual report to all colleagues, which we hope will be the first in a series of reports for the same wide audience. This is one way of many for partners to stay apprised of what D2I is doing, and one opportunity of many to reply with feedback on our objectives and actions.


Do read the full report if you’re interested, and do get in touch with feedback and ideas as they occur to you. I’ve also written a brief blog post to accompany the report in case you’d rather get the short version!



6. D2I code library


D2I Code Library | GitHub


Another experiment – we’ve talked before about exploring how D2I can support LAs sharing tools and code beyond the core D2I toolkit. Where people have shared things previously which fit with our toolkit, you'll find them on the Tools page of the website alongside our own tools, but more technical users, learners, and borrowers of ideas have also said they’re interested in sharing code snippets and system- or software-specific reports and programs with other LAs. To that end, we’ve set up a D2I Code Library, hosted on GitHub, which will hopefully allow us to host more resources and help LA analysts share useful work. The basics:


- Projects are held in individual repositories managed by their respective owners, with the option to make repositories private to D2I members – so you can keep your code safe, and know who else can see it

- Access for editing or discussing each repository (or project) is by creating a GitHub.com user account and being added to a relevant team within the D2I code library

- Each repository will have a team of owners, then there’s a sitewide team called “All LA analysts” which can see, but not edit, every repository

- If you’d like an email invitation to join that “All LA analysts” team, ask for one at the usual email address

- If you’d like to suggest or offer up something to add to the site, again, get in touch by email


The current list of private repositories is small: it’s one project from colleagues in Bristol, who have written a SQL toolkit for interrogating the CIN Census XML outputs. If that sounds interesting to you, contact us for access via the usual address – and do also get in touch if you have an idea for something from your LA which we could share with others in a similar way. For example, if you’ve got a shareable Power BI report which looks at Annex A lists, or a great bit of code for doing something useful in a case management system, it might be that other LAs would find it useful too. We’ll work with individual teams on ongoing maintenance – based on whether things need supporting, and whether we can indeed help support them!



7. Slack “talk” channels


Our Slack workspace is a relatively quiet workspace, and we know there’s plenty of appetite for better knowledge sharing across the wide network of children’s services data people. At the national meeting of regional performance leads this week, we talked about how the existing places people talk to each other aren’t flexible or specific enough to foster the kinds of conversation people want to have – How do I do X in Power BI? Has anyone else got a Y report working in Mosaic? And so on.


With that in mind, we’ve restructured the Slack to highlight “talk” channels which aren’t tied to specific D2I tools or projects, but instead aimed at helping people working on similar stuff to find each other and share knowledge, frustrations, ideas, and outputs. Below are the first channels I’ve set up, but I’d really invite people to join Slack and suggest other similar topics (in the #general channel, or by reply to me by email if you’d like to suggest a channel in secret!). We’ll monitor activity and keep those channels which are finding an audience.


#talk-excel

#talk-power_bi

#talk-tableau

#talk-liquidlogic

#talk-mosaic


So if you’ve been wishing you had more colleagues to ask about Power BI, or LiquidLogic data warehouses (or whatever else), or you think you could help others around the country get to grips with something they’re struggling with, please do log in and say hello. I’ll be in touch with individual people in future to invite them to champion particular groups, too, so if you’d like to help grow a particular mini-community, let me know and I’ll do what I can to find other people to get involved.



8. Credits

Credit for recent improvements to our data tools is due to colleagues in:

North Yorkshire

Bradford

Derby

Walsall

Knowsley

Dorset

Kirklees

Bury

Cheshire West and Chester

Ealing

Slough

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole

Nottingham

Yorkshire and Humber region

North East region

Camden

Hertfordshire

Gloucestershire

Telford


Credit for Early Help user research contributions is due to colleagues in:


Bath and North East Somerset

Bournemouth, Christchuch and Poole

Blackburn with Darwen

Bracknell Forest

Brighton

Calderdale

Dorsey

East Sussex

Essex

Hampshire

Isle of Wight

Hertfordshire

Leicester

Manchester

North Lincolnshire

North Tyneside

Northamptonshire Children’s Trust

Northumberland

Ofsted

Slough Children First

Stockton-on-Tees

Wandsworth

Warwickshire

Wiltshire


Credit for D2I code library contributions so far is due to colleagues in:


Bristol


Credit for the Slack redesign is due to colleagues in:


CS-NPIMG (Children’s Services National Performance and Information Management Group)

That’s it! If you have any comments, queries or ideas that you want to share, just let me know.


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