Weeknotes #7, January 13th, 2023

We're hiring for an experienced technical consultant who can do bits of data and code, whilst working in the flexible and agile way that our small team does. Take a look at the the blog post that describes the role and get in touch if you're interested!

In the week that Sky News announced they'd made "the first database showing the scale of money entering UK politics" based on the Register of Members' Financial Interests (RMFI) we've been continuing our work on the RMFI. We created our RMFI Explorer tool last summer to let you explore how much each MP gets from various interests outside of Parliament (that they've registered). We've just augmented it with an extra visualisation and, being us, you can probably guess what it is. Yes, we've added a hex cartogram. We have other RMFI news...

We've been working for a couple of months (as teased in earlier weeknotes) on a tool for the UK Parliamentary Digital Service. We're at the stage of handing this over, and have created a prototype tool underpinned by data which aims to show which questions the data held in the current Registers or Members' Financial Interest can answer. This isn't a tool which presents information gleaned from the current registers (see above for that!). Instead, it could be used by those considering legislative change to the content of the registers and how slight alterations in the data held could increase the range of uses the data could be put to.

We've helped LEEDS 2023 visualise data about the media coverage of their launch event, The Awakening, which took place last weekend. The media coverage page is part of the data microsite that we've built over the last 9 months. This week, we've also had a review session looking at their priorities, and how we can best support the LEEDS 2023 Year of Culture.

Next week we've got a couple more projects are kicking, so we've spent some time preparing for those and tidying up some loose ends. We're also hosting Planet Data 5 on Wednesday so more preparation. Further ahead, there have been more preparations for the next Open Data Saves Lives session on Health Inqualities.

We read an interesting blog post about data cleaning by Randy Au that argues that rather than treat it as "grunt work" it be treated as "a spectrum of reusable data transformations on the path towards doing a full data analysis". Knowing your data is important. It also led us to a 2020 blog post by Leigh Dodds which pulls apart the factoid that "data scientists spend 80% of their time cleaning data".

Paul has been thinking about our the annual review, and has written a summary of Open Innovation's year. He ran this through GPT3, which produced this pretty accurate and succinct summary

In 2022, there was a shift in how people and organizations approached data and the web. They moved from just wanting to see what can be done with data and the web to needing help in using it to make changes within their organization. This shift is driven by frustration with the amount of reports and consultations needed to make progress and the need for real-time data to make informed decisions, which was highlighted by the pandemic. The company in question has grown their delivery capacity and formed partnerships with organizations that need support with data innovation. They plan to continue this work in 2023, focusing on themes such as open data and transportation, while continuing to share progress openly. The company has found success in their approach of doing, building, and creating with data, which is recognized as a credible approach. They also provide an alternative approach for organizations that want to focus on outputs and progress that suit their budgets and objectives.

On the basis of this, we're seriously considering using GPT3 as a précis tool for blog posts. Onwards to the singularity!