Weeknotes #22, May 5th, 2023

This week saw the end of Sprint 4 and the start of Sprint 5. We closed an eye-watering 61 tickets, with only 10 falling into the next sprint (3 in review, 2 in progress and 5 not yet started). Importantly, we had no 'unrefined backlog' left over - everything had either been specified well enough that it could be actioned or kicked out of the sprint. The process is working really well, and we're improving each time we run it. In addition to the ongoing project delivery, we're starting to track the important "working in the open" parts of our projects, making sure that tickets which result in a change in our openly published project pages are clearly marked. Working in the open can be a very powerful tool to get more community contributions and enable us all to go faster.

Giles, Taz, Luke and Michelle presented the work so far on Phase 2B of the Youth Futures Foundation data dashboard site, including intial dashboards for the QLFS and NEET data, some project pages, and improvements in site searchability using topic tagging. Treat these pages as work in progress - there will be changes as we work with Youth Futures Foundation over the coming weeks. That said, the demo was really well received, with some relatively minor amendments in the current pipeline processing and presentation of the data. We've used this valuable feedback to outline the work for the next sprint which we conveniently planned the day after the demo!

The team held the internal kick-off meeting for an exciting new project working with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation building a North England Insight Finder. This will bring together a vast array of data around poverty in its broadest sense with a key requirement to make it easy to make decisions on the back of the data. There'll be a big data build, visualisation designs and likely some modelling, too, and the project is due for full launch in the autumn but, as always with the Open Innovations team and their #radicallyopen way of working, everything, every step, every line of code will be online from day one. The project page will be updated with more content next week...

Christian has been working with Leeds City Council colleagues with whom we're working as an Economic Data Partner, supporting them to gain greater insight into the local economy, building reproducible pipelines to save them time so they can focus on what they do best, and helping them to answer the difficult questions where data is hard to come by. This week and next week is looking at migration patterns and graduate in-flows and out-flows, and we'll have some results of that up on the website soon. As with the JRF Insight Finder, there'll be a new project page up on the site soon and we'll link it in here when it's ready.

Luke has been working on YFF to improve some of the automation for data visualisations. We should be able to apply this across some of our other projects too, like LSIP and JRF. This will remove even more human intervention with generating the graphs, letting people focus on using the data to answer questions. He has also made a good start on the Joseph Rowntree Foundation project data pipelines, and has written a blog about it. The first part is a non-technical explanation of why, how, and what we are doing. The second, coming soon, will be a technical post explaining how to automatically pull data from the DWP's Stat-Xplore API.

Stuart updated UK Power Networks' 2022 DFES data visualisation so that the data can be viewed by MSOA. To help the visualisation look cleaner (especially in views where multiple levels of geophraphy are displayed together), Stuart made sure that both the MSOA GeoJSON and local authority GeoJSON polygons were built up from the LSOA GeoJSON polygons. To keep the file sizes down our GeoJSON minification tool came in handy once again.