A patchwork quilt of information sharing and information standards

Blog by John Curtis, Project Manager

Last week I was in a workshop held by the Local E-government Standards Body (LeGSB) www.legsb.gov.uk . The workshop looked at Local and central government priorities and policies where data standards are key.

You may ask why are standards around data important for successful data sharing???

Anne's Patchwork Quilt
Anne’s Patchwork Quilt

Well lets just say overall how we collect, and classify data is commonly not clearly set, or when set it is usually only mandated by individual government bodies or departments.   Does this ring any bells? The same is very true for information sharing guidance which often is sector based, piecemeal and not cross cutting even when multi-agency work is key.

Clearly a pan government strategy around Information sharing and supporting data standards that brings things together is a MUST.

This adhoc approach also means that a receiving organisation may reuse data legitimately and appropriately but inappropriately interpret its meaning which impacts upon services provided to the Community.

Interestingly, culture, senior management buy in, and overall skills around of information management were all raised at today’s workshop, and what was really useful was just hearing a number of central and local government officers talking about what their priorities are.

Paul Davidson

The key lead in the field of standards is Paul Davidson who lead the session has posted some work that he has undertaken with colleagues at Trafford Council to understand their Troubled Families program. Published on the Troubled Families LGA Knowledge Hub, Paul has suggested how data standards could add value at each step from operational data, through to evidencing policy.

Here is a link to the paper Paul has produced which visualises differing relationships around the data sets and service delivery within the context of Troubled Families . 

Opportunities for applying Data Standards to a Troubled Families Programme (pdf, 720KB)