Weeknotes #18, April 7th, 2023

Happy Easter from Open Innovations!

Giles came across this excellent and thought-provoking transcription of a talk by Florian Haas entitled No, We Won’t Have a Video Call for That!. Florian tackles effective working in distributed teams. The transcription starts with this declaration: “I normally make my talks available as a video, and a slide deck with full speaker notes. In this case though, I consider it fitting to write the whole thing out, so that you don’t need to watch a full length video in 45 minutes, but can read the whole thing in 15.” A lot of the advice in the talk chimes very heavily with the team’s recent focus on a ticketing system (GitHub Project) as an organisational tool for asynchronous collaboration. It feels like adopting this tool has changed the content and frequency of video calls for the better.

Stuart has updated the council website emissions page, which estimates CO2 emissions by websites for UK councils, and details how they could do better.

With the LSIP project in its latter stages, Luke has been busy making small tweaks across the site and adding a new page of visualisations using new apprenticeship data. He has also spent time speaking to Giles and Taz to learn about the Youth Futures Foundation project so he can help with the workload while various people are away on holiday over the next few weeks.

Giles and Christian spent a couple of hours thinking about the platform, and in particurly the Data Tarn – like a Data Lake, but a bit more wild™. This builds on work that Christian has been doing for the past four years. Having pondered some of the critical topics to cover, they've made a start writing down the outline, for later completion. You can take a look at the rough notes on the Data Tarn to get a sense of what we'll be covering. They were able to make immediate use of this thinking in support of the YFF project. As we do more of this we'll end up with a more rigorously tested set of designs and principles.

Giles and Stuart also continued work on the Lume visualisation library, including adding a treemap component, an svg map component and a scatter plot component. The library has passed the point now where we have a good working set of visualisation types. After the Easter break, we plan to spend some time making the code more robust and deciding what needs to be done to get to a stable v1 release.

The next quarterly report goes to the LEEDS2023 Board at the end of April, so Michelle has been helping to reconcile any differences between the data presented on the LEEDS2023 data microsite and the information gathered for the draft report.

We're also continuing to research datasets that relate to education and culture to support our work on Mapping Leeds Schools Cultural Engagement with the University of Leeds, as well as helping to put some finishing touches on a survey which will be sent out to schools in April. Arts Council England, we're sure to be coming to ask you a few questions soon!