Weeknotes #15, March 17th, 2023

This week marks the wrap-up of our first sprint - a success! We've been making some changes to our approach to delivery lately, introducing two-week sprints across all of our projects. Over the course of Sprint 1, the team closed off 27 tickets, with only 5 rolling over into the second sprint. On Tuesday, we had our first sprint planning meeting, where we decided firstly: what, how and why we want to run these sessions and make progress, and secondly: what are we going to focus on for the next two weeks - with pace and flexibility. As always, our approach will be unique to Open Innovations and delivered entirely in the open. Wednesday marked the start of Sprint 2 - we'll let you know how we get on, and will be writing up some of our ethos behind the change so watch this space.

Over the last year, we've started using the Lume Static Site Generator to build data microsites for people. To support some of the visualisations that we build, we've encapsulated some of our charting libraries in the oi-lume-charts Lume plugin. Stuart and Giles have been working hard to build out the repository and a microsite with examples and walkthroughs. The repo, site and documentation are still a work in progress, but we're already seeing the benefits of having the graphing capability across our projects. Hats off to Stuart and Giles!

Giles, Michelle and Taz have also been working hard making some final tweaks to the LEEDS 2023 data microsite before the awards ceremony at the end of the month. In case you missed it, the site has been shortlisted in the Using Data category of the Digital Culture Awards. You can read more about our entry in the awards.

Luke joined us last week and has hit the ground running - this week, he has been buried in python scripts processing data for the LSIP page and adding visualisations using our Lume charts library. He's also working on a blog to explain what the LSIP project is and how Open Innovations is involved, so keep an eye out for that!

Giles has been focussing on the changes to the LEEDS 2023 microsite, as well as working with Luke on the LSIP data preparation and visualisations. The deadline for that project is fast approaching, and we're meeting with our sponsor next week to show progress so far. It's going to be a busy couple of weeks! On a more architectural level, he's been continuing to ponder the design of the platform, and is gathering notes and reflecting on the sites we've built so far. LSIP is a great example of a range of forces and capabilites coming together. We're consequently using this as proving ground for the standardised building blocks we are creating.

Meanwhile, Taz has been working on some changes to #OpenDataSavesLives, where we've made some accessibility improvements and added a dedicated hub page for all of our Health Inequalities work to date. We'll be using this space to document and signpost all of the work we're supporting on reducing inequalities in healthcare, so keep an eye out for more content that will be added as the project unfolds.

Louis published his case study on Open Justice and Open Data, examining the use of digital tools in Argentina to promote transparency and accessibility in the justice system. He’s also setting the wheels in motion for an in-person Northern Data Ethics Forum, to restart some work that was derailed due to the pandemic.

Christian has spent the week turning grey and losing sleep as the final modelling and coding comes together for our Tax Devolution Tool in association with Northern Powerhouse Partnership. The biggest challenge, as it often is in work like this, is finding the right data with the right set of geographic lookups attached. Buried inside MHCLG's council tax statistics are some files with current billing authority codes, some with historic, and some with current ONS geocodes. Getting all of those to lookup to each other has been a challenge! But, (nearly) all done now with just some regional roll-ups to complete and then some improving of the UI and the writing of the user guidance and methodologies. Take a look: it's available online and you can have a play of fantasy Chancellor!