Date   

Re: Lessons Learned - Building skills to recognize and describe them #lessons-learned

Stephen Bounds
 

Hi Eve,

Ordinarily I hate the "C" word (culture) because it is so often misused, but I think it has relevance here.

There is a natural tension between hoarding knowledge for individual success, and sharing knowledge to maximise success of the group. Overcoming this requires a group acceptance that individual and joint success are linked. In addition, the specific acts of knowledge sharing have to be actually evaluated by individuals and groups as successful.

What you are seeking is a positive reinforcement cycle that draws a direct link between knowledge sharing and valuable outcomes.

I know this all sounds self-evident but you would be amazed how many times people aim to establish knowledge sharing and then say "job done". The problem is when you stop your thinking here, you're creating a cycle that is only sustained through continuous injections of incentives. What you are seeking is a system of activities that people intrinsically find valuable.

Back to culture! Culture is about how people discuss and adapt their approach to:

  • principles - consensus on value (how)
  • objectives - consensus on outcomes (why)
  • norms - consensus on behaviours (what)

Importantly, not discussing how these consensus positions are reached is is itself a form of organisational culture. One important step you can take is to start explicitly evaluating these often unstated assumptions:

  • Do you value when other people share their own experiences and knowledge? Why? How? Could it be improved? When does it come in handy? Why? Do others feel the same way? Do people ever share too often or too much? Are there people who tend not to share? Do you know why they don't share? If they should share more, how could this be supported?
  • When is the right time to share? Are there wrong times to share? Is it good to record things even if no immediate reuse is apparent? Are there kind of things to capture which are more likely to be reusable than others?
  • When have lessons learned and knowledge sharing been useful to you? What changed about your situation? Why? What would have happened if you didn't hear it from them? Did they benefit from sharing? Were you grateful? Should sharing be a thing we also "just do" intrinsically as a member of the organisation, or are extrinsic (tangible) rewards appropriate? Would people who intrinsically like to share resent extrinsic rewards being given to others, even if that was the only thing that would trigger them to share?
  • What are the individual benefits of sharing? Does everyone agree? Would it be a net positive or negative to your work if you were expected to share? Would you consider leaving if your performance was evaluated on how much you shared? Would other people you know of join or leave an organisation where sharing was a basic expectation of being an employee?
  • Would people feel more enthusiastic about sharing if it could be shown that an important metric improved? Are there key challenges your organisation is currently facing? Is there a measurable metric that represents this challenge?
  • What behaviours are expected of people who work for your organisation? What behaviours are actively disapproved of or discouraged? Are these expectations implicit or explicit? If implicit, do people feel these behavioural expectation should be stated explicitly? Do you have cultural leaders (not necessarily the formal leaders) who are influential in behaviours?
  • Do you trust your leaders? Your peers? The overall functioning of your organisation? Could your organisation be heavily impacted by external factors beyond your control (eg funding cuts) and would your organisation handle major impacts well or with difficulty?
  • Do you work outside of their normal professional responsibilities as needed to support overall outcomes? Or is "your job", your job? What happens when people either offer or are asked to go outside their ordinary responsibilities?
  • Could you ever see a situation where sharing knowledge might disadvantage you personally? Why / why not?
  • Have you ever started or stopped a behaviour because of an individual consequence you faced, or may have faced? Have you ever stopped a behaviour, even if it was encouraged, because it either had an organisational outcome you disapproved of, or failed to have a measurable impact? Why?
  • Are people rewarded for taking risks, and/or punished for failure? Does it matter who was at fault when things go wrong? How do you personally feel about taking risks in your work?
  • Do you think everyone has the skills to share effectively? Why / why not? How does this change your expectations around lessons learned and knowledge sharing? Would you be comfortable making knowledge sharing a highly encouraged norm, even if led to people who preferred not to share to leave? Why / why not?

Understanding the answers to these questions will help you to craft more effective knowledge-building practices, both tactically and strategically.

Cheers,
Stephen.

====================================
Stephen Bounds
Executive, Information Management
Cordelta
E: stephen.bounds@...
M: 0401 829 096
====================================
On 14/04/2022 6:01 am, Eve Porter-Zuckerman wrote:

Hello everyone,

 

Inspired by TJ Hsu’s question about metadata and lessons learned, I’m looking for prompts, questions, pictures, and other guidance to help people recognize lessons learned and describe them in a way that others might benefit. 

 

I’m working with a growing organization that’s gradually, intentionally, distributing responsibility and moving to a learning culture as it transitions from founder-led. The appetite is there. The leadership is behind it and happy to model behavior and do what they can to encourage and celebrate. Members of the organization come from different cultures, educational backgrounds, and levels of professional experience. They are very hands-on. I’m helping them weave learning and sharing into their work, focusing on active learning and collaboration. 

 

I’d appreciate your thoughts on how to help people build skills to see and share lessons learned. We’re starting with (existing) meetings, and thinking about how to transition them from information exchanges to knowledge-building opportunities. Currently, at one of these meetings, someone sharing a great report might simply read out its title, and stop there. They won’t know how to highlight its value.

 

I have had a wonderful, productive time sifting through the trove of advice and thoughtful references here in the SIKM group, reading through and gathering excellent ideas from threads on #lessons-learned, #knowledge-sharing, #learning and other topics. I'm keeping my eye on the other thread with great interest and appreciation, too.

 

Thank you for what has been shared, and I look forward to your thoughts.

 

Eve

Eve Porter-Zuckerman
eporterzuckerman@...


Understanding the NFT Community'​ dynamics: Insights from 30 days of immersion. #CoP

 

Hi, 

i'm sharing my insights and analysis of the NFT community' dynamics and configuration following 30 days of immersion.

I'm interested to get your thoughts and/ or comments :) 

Link to article

Thank you
Rachad 


Re: Lessons Learned - Metadata #lessons-learned #metadata

Stan Garfield
 

Reply from Ian Fry in LinkedIn: Agree with most of the comments in the SIKM group. One important thing; always select "All that apply" - note the recommendation that 3 is a realistic maximum. There are facets which will apply, but never be the main facet.


Re: Flipping the Script on Content Retention #content-management

Robert M. Taylor
 

It's a nice point. Everyone sees that nobody feels any need to hold back creating documents and copies, nor any need to delete anything. So raw content is produced and held in mass and grows phenomenally. It creates a very hard job around reducing it.
What I have very frequently heard is:
"Data is free or nearly free so it doesn't matter how many copies of fundamentally rubbish I keep" (wrong and wrong - data costs a lot once you look at all the processes and people around it)
"It does no harm to keep everything" (wrong everything you keep makes it harder to find what you need and contains latent risk)
"We might need it one day" (or you might not - and you'll probably never find it anyway)

I spent 5 years trying to get a major UK business to accept automated deletion. It was all agreed - probably after three years - but still not yet implemented when I left. Fundamentally, everyone prefers to accept the everyday real life issue (actual issue not risk, mark you) of degraded performance over the small potential risk associated with having deleted something. Well, we know that human psychology makes wrong risk judgements and this is one clear case.

It's actually very difficult to really delete anything beyond recovery anyway....


Lessons Learned - Building skills to recognize and describe them #lessons-learned

Eve Porter-Zuckerman
 

Hello everyone,

 

Inspired by TJ Hsu’s question about metadata and lessons learned, I’m looking for prompts, questions, pictures, and other guidance to help people recognize lessons learned and describe them in a way that others might benefit. 

 

I’m working with a growing organization that’s gradually, intentionally, distributing responsibility and moving to a learning culture as it transitions from founder-led. The appetite is there. The leadership is behind it and happy to model behavior and do what they can to encourage and celebrate. Members of the organization come from different cultures, educational backgrounds, and levels of professional experience. They are very hands-on. I’m helping them weave learning and sharing into their work, focusing on active learning and collaboration. 

 

I’d appreciate your thoughts on how to help people build skills to see and share lessons learned. We’re starting with (existing) meetings, and thinking about how to transition them from information exchanges to knowledge-building opportunities. Currently, at one of these meetings, someone sharing a great report might simply read out its title, and stop there. They won’t know how to highlight its value.

 

I have had a wonderful, productive time sifting through the trove of advice and thoughtful references here in the SIKM group, reading through and gathering excellent ideas from threads on #lessons-learned, #knowledge-sharing, #learning and other topics. I'm keeping my eye on the other thread with great interest and appreciation, too.

 

Thank you for what has been shared, and I look forward to your thoughts.

 

Eve

Eve Porter-Zuckerman
eporterzuckerman@...


Re: Lessons Learned - Metadata #lessons-learned #metadata

Robert M. Taylor
 

Love this topic and love the replies.
But my take is don't let the lessons sit still long enough to be tagged!
Embed them so they are actioned - that's the learning.
I can think of no case of anyone ever thinking "oh, let's go search the lessons learned"
No, we just expect the most current, up-to-date services, content, processes, products, quality, assistance - and we only get that by continuously embedding the lessons.
That improvement is the learning.
But I loved reading all of this!


International Joint Conference Radio 2022 #conferences

Ricardo Augusto da Silva Alfenas
 

Dear colleagues,

I disclose an international event that will be held here in Brazil and there is a thematic area in Knowledge Management in the Nuclear field. Article submissions are open.



Best regards,

Ricardo Alfenas
LAPOC/CNEN, Brazil.


Re: Lessons Learned - Metadata #lessons-learned #metadata

Simon Denton
 

We have data from tagging exercises that reinforces the comments as well.

#1 We find 'doing the minimum' is the norm. If only one tag is required but you offer the ability to apply multiple, then one tag is what you'll get. Don't expect more than 3 fields to be completed...

#2 'virtual Darwinism' applies to tags - you'll find a small number will be popular and usually the ones at the start of pick lists are the ones that are used. Tags have to resonate with the actual language being used by staff. For example, we asked 60 KM Managers to define 10 tags for their area of industry. The objective was to get no more than 600 tags that matched the key themes, terms etc. in that industry vertical. Apart from the fact we received over 1000 tags in response and had to deduplicate etc., we found that in practice many of the tags they thought would be common were not as common as they thought... We've been able to use Microsoft Viva Topics to prove that point. 

#3 Use automation to apply organisational tags e.g. project number, division etc. You just want people to provide the unique human classification that rules or automation cannot provide


Re: Lessons Learned - Metadata #lessons-learned #metadata

TJ Hsu
 

Thank you so much for your responses. Great insights!

Stephen - while generic, your points are definitely good to keep in mind. Keep it simple, knowing that every additional field comes with a cost (to the user, the solution, etc). Ensure there is a management process to look at the lessons captured. Think about common taxonomy.

Rachad - thanks for these examples, which make a lot of sense - and your note on aligning language.

Nick - agree, we are planning to conduct some design thinking workshops to understand this from the end user's perspectives.


Re: Calling all Chief Knowledge Officers & KM Leaders in technology & other sectors #call-for

Stan Garfield
 


Re: Flipping the Script on Content Retention #content-management

Stan Garfield
 

Reply from Ian Fry in LinkedIn: If so, ARCHIVE not DELETE. I have painful examples where cases become rarer, content gets deleted; and then it happens again!


Calling all Chief Knowledge Officers & KM Leaders in technology & other sectors #call-for

 

Hello SIKM leaders!

I will be conducting a series of informational interviews with KM leaders/CKOs across industries, but specifically in the technology sector (if CKOs exist here), to listen and understand what a real-world career path looks like and what's unique about it in this setting. If you have this background or know someone who does, please reach out. I'm looking forward to talking with you!

Much appreciated!

Rosanna Stephens
Manager for Insight & Discovery Experiences @ Adobe


Re: Lessons Learned - Metadata #lessons-learned #metadata

Nick Milton
 

A couple of things to consider TJ –

 

Firstly, speak to your users to understand the sorts of terms they would be searching or browsing for, and make sure the metadata fits their search patterns and needs.

Secondly, the ultimate destination for a lesson is to become embedded within updated processes and procedures, or product design components. Therefore the metadata applied to the lessons must match your existing process/procedure taxonomy and/or product and component taxonomy.  

 

Nick Milton

 

 

From: main@SIKM.groups.io <main@SIKM.groups.io> On Behalf Of TJ Hsu
Sent: 08 April 2022 21:28
To: main@SIKM.groups.io
Subject: [SIKM] Lessons Learned - Metadata

 

Hi everyone,
Looking for anyone who might be able to share examples or insights for metadata (tagging / classification) for Lessons Learned - to make it easy to find/browse/filter for them. Examples specific to project delivery in pharma would be great.

Thank you,
TJ


Re: Lessons Learned - Metadata #lessons-learned #metadata

 

Hi TJ, 

LL metadata for classification can best be defined when:

1- They reproduce the context in which the LL has happened, and describe the situation conditions. For example: project type, customer region, risk severity…

2- They act as search criteria and filters for later findability. For example, product type, assembly part, function, process…

3- They refer to expertise and areas of knowledge within their communities. For example: LL validator, engineering expert, quality owner, related competency …

If the LL platform & process are cross-functional and covering the different business disciplines, every team will try to describe the LL using their own vocabularies. You might consider maintaining the cohesiveness of the metadata set and moderating their number. 

Thank you 
Rachad


Re: Lessons Learned - Metadata #lessons-learned #metadata

Stephen Bounds
 

Hi TJ,

You've asked a pretty generic question, so my insights are also necessarily pretty generic:

  1. You are likely to need less classification than you think.

  2. If you increase your costs of capture, make sure you can clearly describe the increased value you will get during later discovery and reuse.

  3. Metadata works best when it reflects and reinforces a common language already in use. If you don't have a common language, spend some effort establishing it in your relevant community first.

  4. Don't discount the effort required to manage your lessons already captured. Continuing to refer people to bad information is the quickest way for people to stop using a system.

Cheers,
Stephen.

====================================
Stephen Bounds
Executive, Information Management
Cordelta
E: stephen.bounds@...
M: 0401 829 096
====================================
On 9/04/2022 6:27 am, TJ Hsu wrote:

Hi everyone,
Looking for anyone who might be able to share examples or insights for metadata (tagging / classification) for Lessons Learned - to make it easy to find/browse/filter for them. Examples specific to project delivery in pharma would be great.

Thank you,
TJ


Lessons Learned - Metadata #lessons-learned #metadata

TJ Hsu
 

Hi everyone,
Looking for anyone who might be able to share examples or insights for metadata (tagging / classification) for Lessons Learned - to make it easy to find/browse/filter for them. Examples specific to project delivery in pharma would be great.

Thank you,
TJ


Re: Flipping the Script on Content Retention #content-management

Sarah Emes
 

Some great experience and focus points in this thread. I'd emphasise the need to provide a framework for disposition of all content types referenced in the organizational code of conduct- both removal after mandatory retention (based on organizational policies) as well as the requirement to move valuable content to long-term archives for both secure retention and future analysis.  Privacy compliance and the "infonomics" of data retention need to be understood by all the experts managing data (subject matter experts- users, security, privacy experts, legal and risk experts, and record retention and archival experts). The industrial and geographic sector of the business activities will ultimately dictate how big a "flip" you can make, because in most areas of business, lawyers can still see value in keeping more rather than less, except what is specifically and clearly regulated for short retention (such as PII).
 
Having spent 25 years in an international, diversified business group, one-size-fits-all is definitely not defensible because the "value" depends on so many perspectives.  However, it is possible to codify and to automate so that certain content categories do not accumulate creating unnecessary cost and risk, 

Sarah Emes CRM IGP
832 319 8611



On Tue, Mar 22, 2022 at 9:03 PM Elizabeth Winter <elizabeth.winter@...> wrote:

Hi, KM Colleagues—

 

I’m interested in your current thinking and practices around content retention in today’s business environment.

 

For context: My background prior to pivoting to corporate KM was academic librarianship, and in the last ~15 years I’ve witnessed the shift of the primary problem we face going from information scarcity (why we started libraries in the first place) to its opposite—information overload. You’re all well aware of the phenomenon.


That said, I’m looking to flip the script on content retention from “We’d better keep this just in case” to “Justify why we need to keep this.” The content in mind is market-facing—not contracts, financials, etc., and this is mainly about what to archive.

 

Question: Have any of you done this? If so, are you willing to share your retention philosophies/criteria? Usage metrics come to mind as a powerful one, for example.

 

Many thanks!

Lizzi

 

LIZZI WINTER
Knowledge Management Program Manager


3333 Piedmont Road, NE | Suite 1000 | Atlanta, GA 30305
O: +1.404.975.6298
www.northhighland.com | Connect With Us

 




This message may contain confidential information, legally privileged information or other information subject to legal restrictions. If you are not a designated recipient of this message, or an agent responsible for delivering it to a designated recipient, please do not read, copy, use or disclose this message or its attachments, and notify the sender by replying to this message and delete or destroy all copies of this message and attachments. Visiting North Highland? We look forward to welcoming you to North Highland. As our guest, your health and safety are top priorities. To mitigate the risks of transmission of COVID-19, please know that North Highland is committed to maintaining compliant safety and health protocols across our locations. Effective November 1, all fully-vaccinated visitors are broadly welcome to access our locations but are still expected to adhere to any current and applicable health and safety protocols at the time of their visit, including recommended hygiene practices. Because vaccination is the most powerful and effective mitigation against COVID-19 we are only accepting fully vaccinated visitors to our offices at this time. Visitors accessing our facilities are expected to voluntarily align with these policies and procedures and such access shall indicate agreement to follow North Highland’s relevant protocols. As such, North Highland does not require proof of vaccination from guests but does reserve the right to revoke the access of any non-compliant visitor. All North Highland health and safety protocols are administered in accordance with applicable law. Should you have any questions and/or require any accommodation with respect to such requirements, please contact our VP of Human Resources Jennifer Mancuso before your arrival at jennifer.mancuso@.... Finally, prior to arrival, we also ask that all visitors self-assess for any potential COVID symptoms. If you are experiencing any cold or flu-like symptoms, we ask that you please arrange to reschedule your visit for a later date. Thank you for your cooperation in helping us maintain a safe and healthy environment.


Re: Flipping the Script on Content Retention #content-management

Elizabeth Winter
 

Many thanks, Endro! This is an exercise I have been hoping to dig into, so appreciate the validation that it is relevant here.

 

All the best,

Lizzi

 

LIZZI WINTER
Knowledge Management Program Manager


3333 Piedmont Road, NE | Suite 1000 | Atlanta, GA 30305
O: +1.404.975.6298
www.northhighland.com | Connect With Us

 

From: main@SIKM.groups.io <main@SIKM.groups.io> On Behalf Of Endro Catur via groups.io
Sent: Wednesday, March 23, 2022 8:45 PM
To: main@sikm.groups.io
Subject: Re: [SIKM] Flipping the Script on Content Retention

 

Hi Lizzie

 

Knowledge Mapping method has never failed me to address situations like this.

 

In many of my projects, I also advocate my clients to not only institutionalize this method, but build individual capacity to quickly internalize this.

 

In past few projects, I further pushed this method into behavior qnd help individuals to:

 

1. Get the map context -> organisational, business etc.

 

2. Align the map with business process -> to assess knowledge that are mandatory, nice to have or no longer relevant

 

As for the K Map, it is a simple matrix of: What knowledge is needed, what for, in what format, when, who has it, etc. The goal to turn this method to become behavior is for the map to become a way of thinking.

 

 
--- Salam. Regards. ---

 


Endro Catur Nugroho 
IAF Certified Professional Facilitator

Resume: http://bit.ly/EndroCatur-Resume
CV: http://bit.ly/EndroCatur-CV
LinkedIn: http://bit.ly/endrocn
Email: endro.catur@...
Mobile: +628558884441

Thank you for your email. If you expected reply but have not yet received it from me in three days, please contact me at the mobile number above. 

This e-mail and its attachment, if any, is intended for the addressee. The content is private and confidential and may contain copyright and/or legally privileged information. If you receive this email in error, please notify me immediately and delete this email together with any attachment. Any unauthorised use, dissemination, or copying of this message, or any attachment, is strictly prohibited.

   

 

On Wed, Mar 23, 2022, 09:03 Elizabeth Winter <elizabeth.winter@...> wrote:

Hi, KM Colleagues—

 

I’m interested in your current thinking and practices around content retention in today’s business environment.

 

For context: My background prior to pivoting to corporate KM was academic librarianship, and in the last ~15 years I’ve witnessed the shift of the primary problem we face going from information scarcity (why we started libraries in the first place) to its opposite—information overload. You’re all well aware of the phenomenon.


That said, I’m looking to flip the script on content retention from “We’d better keep this just in case” to “Justify why we need to keep this.” The content in mind is market-facing—not contracts, financials, etc., and this is mainly about what to archive.

 

Question: Have any of you done this? If so, are you willing to share your retention philosophies/criteria? Usage metrics come to mind as a powerful one, for example.

 

Many thanks!

Lizzi

 

LIZZI WINTER
Knowledge Management Program Manager


3333 Piedmont Road, NE | Suite 1000 | Atlanta, GA 30305
O: +1.404.975.6298
www.northhighland.com | Connect With Us

 

 



This message may contain confidential information, legally privileged information or other information subject to legal restrictions. If you are not a designated recipient of this message, or an agent responsible for delivering it to a designated recipient, please do not read, copy, use or disclose this message or its attachments, and notify the sender by replying to this message and delete or destroy all copies of this message and attachments. Visiting North Highland? We look forward to welcoming you to North Highland. As our guest, your health and safety are top priorities. To mitigate the risks of transmission of COVID-19, please know that North Highland is committed to maintaining compliant safety and health protocols across our locations. Effective November 1, all fully-vaccinated visitors are broadly welcome to access our locations but are still expected to adhere to any current and applicable health and safety protocols at the time of their visit, including recommended hygiene practices. Because vaccination is the most powerful and effective mitigation against COVID-19 we are only accepting fully vaccinated visitors to our offices at this time. Visitors accessing our facilities are expected to voluntarily align with these policies and procedures and such access shall indicate agreement to follow North Highland’s relevant protocols. As such, North Highland does not require proof of vaccination from guests but does reserve the right to revoke the access of any non-compliant visitor. All North Highland health and safety protocols are administered in accordance with applicable law. Should you have any questions and/or require any accommodation with respect to such requirements, please contact our VP of Human Resources Jennifer Mancuso before your arrival at jennifer.mancuso@.... Finally, prior to arrival, we also ask that all visitors self-assess for any potential COVID symptoms. If you are experiencing any cold or flu-like symptoms, we ask that you please arrange to reschedule your visit for a later date. Thank you for your cooperation in helping us maintain a safe and healthy environment.




This message may contain confidential information, legally privileged information or other information subject to legal restrictions. If you are not a designated recipient of this message, or an agent responsible for delivering it to a designated recipient, please do not read, copy, use or disclose this message or its attachments, and notify the sender by replying to this message and delete or destroy all copies of this message and attachments. Visiting North Highland? We look forward to welcoming you to North Highland. As our guest, your health and safety are top priorities. To mitigate the risks of transmission of COVID-19, please know that North Highland is committed to maintaining compliant safety and health protocols across our locations. Effective November 1, all fully-vaccinated visitors are broadly welcome to access our locations but are still expected to adhere to any current and applicable health and safety protocols at the time of their visit, including recommended hygiene practices. Because vaccination is the most powerful and effective mitigation against COVID-19 we are only accepting fully vaccinated visitors to our offices at this time. Visitors accessing our facilities are expected to voluntarily align with these policies and procedures and such access shall indicate agreement to follow North Highland’s relevant protocols. As such, North Highland does not require proof of vaccination from guests but does reserve the right to revoke the access of any non-compliant visitor. All North Highland health and safety protocols are administered in accordance with applicable law. Should you have any questions and/or require any accommodation with respect to such requirements, please contact our VP of Human Resources Jennifer Mancuso before your arrival at jennifer.mancuso@.... Finally, prior to arrival, we also ask that all visitors self-assess for any potential COVID symptoms. If you are experiencing any cold or flu-like symptoms, we ask that you please arrange to reschedule your visit for a later date. Thank you for your cooperation in helping us maintain a safe and healthy environment.


Investment Distribution of Knowledge Transfer #knowledge-sharing

Tammy Bearden
 

Hello SIKM community. 

I am doing research to benchmark how other legal, technical, or professional firms invest in training and knowledge transfer to equip early career professional to grow into mid-level and sr-level leaders. What is the relative distribution of training dollars? (Including the opportunity cost of professionals attending training at the expense of not attending to billable work.)

 

I am seeking both a top down point of view (“we invest $x in training programs for our young professionals” or “we require our employees to complete ____hrs. of training at ____-level.") and a bottom up point of view (“I started receiving more training/more robust training when I hit ____-level.” or “All my training and knowledge transfer at ___-level was on-the-job/within-project training.)

 

To the extent that you or your network has either organizationally scripted answers or personal insights, I’d be interested in a conversation or their feedback.

 

Thanks so much!


Principles of data probity in open research sharing - UK commercial location data #data-science

 

A few months ago, I shared our approach to ensuring data probity in data science during one of the monthly SIKM Leaders Community Monthly Calls. A few days ago, I released a new open research data explorer which represents these principles: https://openlocal.uk. Nine months of development, about 54,000 lines of code.

 

openLocal is a quarterly-updated commercial location database, aggregating open data on vacancies, rental valuations, rates & ratepayers, into an integrated time-series database of individual retail, industrial, office and leisure business units. For the last two years, these data have been reference data used by government as part of their £4.8 billion economic recovery fund, Levelling Up. This redeveloped data explorer was funded by the London Mayor’s Resilience Fund to support London’s post-COVID economic recovery. Except for source data downloads, the service is free.

 

The specific data may not be of interest to you, but our way of organising and ensuring trust and confidence in these data may be.

 

 

Trust in these data for such fundamental use, is critical. These are the ethical principles:

 

  1. Identifiable sources — Our publisher source history, along with links to their source data, are listed in public.
  2. Transparent methods — Our data and software are openly licenced. Anyone who wants to review our methods, source code, or research processes need only ask.
  3. Publication before analysis — People are fantastic pattern-makers, even when no patterns exist. Our role is to curate our source data impartially and without bias, implicit or otherwise. We continually review our data and systems to ensure we do not inadvertently introduce artifacts which could distort analysis.
  4. Point data before aggregation — While our online data explorer presents aggregations, all reports are derived from point data and not from summaries.
  5. Repeatable, auditable trail — The openLocal app, including publisher history and data explorer, exist to ensure a public view on our work, helping others to scrutinise us.

 

Each report has been designed to support our user’s workflows, which usually means needing to copy and paste charts into PowerPoint presentations. You can screenshot an entire report and know that all relevant information will fit in a slide, like this:

 

 

On the top right of each report is a direct link to the historical source data direct from the database, as well as a visual indicator of the data quality informing the report, with links to our sources’ reference data.

 

 

The objective is to ensure that those using the reports don’t get lost in the usual overconfidence of assuming that nicely-presented charts and data are truthy without caveats.

 

Maps are treated as area charts, permitting cluster analysis of data points. Again, this is to get away from the idea that this is somehow a Google Map. It is not for random exploration, but for presenting point data in analysis.

 

 

I realise the actual subject is probably not relevant to you, but that’s what makes your opinion even better. For a subject where you have little context, how much do all these features and design approaches help you navigate and trust the data?

 

Have a look, and please let me know your thoughts.

 

Thanks and regards

 

Gavin

 

 

>--------------------<

Gavin Chait is a data scientist and development economist at Whythawk.

uk.linkedin.com/in/gavinchait | twitter.com/GavinChait | gavinchait.com

 

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