Six Hundred Colleagues: Building Our CSC Data Analyst Community

A talk by Alistair Herbert and Tom Rintoul
Data to Insight and Social Finance

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About this talk

How can we build more active communities of practice in the public sector?

Data to Insight is a national children's services work programme sponsored by the DfE, Ofsted, and ADCS, to support local authorities in making better use of data. With an existing community of around 600 children’s services data professionals, we develop and maintain data tools in use by every local authority in England, helping understand local children’s social care systems and processes. While our network formed around a few core data tools which everyone wanted to support, the community itself is now as much of an asset as the tools, with colleagues across dozens of local authorities contributing development time, new technical solutions, bug fixes and design advice.

We want to build on this success and find ways to help our colleagues get more value from our community. In this workshop, we’ll introduce Data to Insight, discuss our core goals, and try to start answering two key questions: what makes good networks thrive, and, as facilitators, what enabling capabilities do we need to provide? We’ll be thinking about technical solutions, sub-communities, barriers to entry, permission to participate, and more besides.

Our thinking is developing rapidly on these questions, so we hope the session will be highly interactive, with attendees contributing to an open discussion which will be of interest not only to children’s services experts but to anyone looking to understand how to generate the most benefit from a professional network or community of practice.

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