In September last year, 50 organisations from across government came together to use the power of data and service design to generate solutions to issues affecting the North East region.
It was an amazing event that sparked conversations and showed the potential of what can be achieved by collaboration. To keep the momentum of DataJam going, a series of free learning events are being held covering topics which overlap data, digital and design.
The first DataJam Learning event is on Tuesday 11 June at Newcastle University and the topic is data visualisation. Tickets are available on Eventbrite. There is an incredible list of speakers and sessions including John Burn-Murdoch from the Financial Times.
Turning data into insights
As an advocate of data visualisation, I’m excited to have recently taken over the role of DWP Presentation Champion from Catherine Hope.
In DWP we’ve raised our standards of presentation skills over recent years. We have gained a good reputation and had tremendous feedback on our statistical publications, which is in no small part down to our data visualisation community.
In a previous blog post I wrote about the need for everyone to have these skills, not just analysts, which is why I helped create an online data presentation course last year. This is available online for everyone to access: DWP data visualisation training.
Continually improving how we present data
A lot of data visualisation activity in DWP has focused on statistical publication. This makes sense since we have to communicate to the public without much direct contact with them.
However, as I step into the role of DWP Presentation Champion I want to bring people together and raise awareness outside of this area. In particular, as we start to gain opportunities through new tools and technologies and start designing with data in new ways – our standards of presentation become increasingly important.
Part of the new role means being responsible for overhauling a quarterly document which collates all the latest, interesting work each department is doing on presenting data. This hidden gem is published on the Government Statistical Service website and I think it could be really useful to inspire and join up people working on similar things in different departments.
Despite being a statistician in government for over 10 years now I had never heard of this document until a few weeks ago! It isn’t in the best format at the minute – but it’s now my role to refresh it. I hope to share the new, improved version with you all in the coming months.
If anyone would like to help out in either the reviewing of publications or helping to refresh/expand the online training – or wants any help or to know more then please let me know as well.
I look forward to seeing lots of new and familiar faces at the DataJam learning event. As I’ve said before, data visualisation is not just for analysts so I’d encourage anyone who’s got an interest in the presentation of data to come along. You’re sure to pick up some great tips and tricks to improve how you communicate data.
Ryan Dunn and Celine McLoughlin, co-founders of DataJam, are planning more events on topics which overlap data, digital and design. If you’re interested in helping out or have any suggestions for future events, please contact them.