Skip To Content
The Mayor of London The London Assembly

Getting Down to Brass Tacks: Practical Data Sharing and Problem Solving in London

The latest in our series of London Borough Data Partnership meetings was held last week at the London Fire Brigade HQ. The Partnership aims to bring together London’s Government to share, discuss and create data projects to solve some of our public service challenges. An interesting set of speakers, along with the promise of festive mince pies, meant the meeting was well attended with over 50 people from 30 different organisations.

The LFB’s Andrew Mobbs kicked proceedings off with a compelling example of how plugging in additional datasets (e.g. assisted bin collection and disability allowance) into their fire risk model, would allow them to target scarce prevention resource and ultimately a save lives. Andy and his team are making progress but would be keen to hear from boroughs who think they could help.

After a brief introduction to the LODA Pilot by the GLA’s Wil Tonkiss (more of which can be found in this update blog), Hilary Simpson (Nesta) gave us an overview of practical steps involved in sharing data within and across organisations. Her first-hand experience developing Privacy Impact Assessments and Information Sharing Protocols in Camden, and the LODA pilot, was reassuring and will be a great help getting over those data sharing hurdles at the start of projects.

The final session before the caffeine break moved us on to the charity sector. Vivienne Avery (Head of the GLA’s Demography & Policy Analysis team) took us through some of the third sector data collaborations planned for 2017 such as: children’s services, refugee/asylum seekers and health projections, all driven by sharing data. Emma Prest followed this up with an energetic run through the work of DataKind UK and numerous charities – a great example of power of data science volunteers! We look forward to hearing more from Emma on these blog pages in the New Year, as a project with DataKind, GLA, St Mungos and DWP develops.

Joel Marsden reconvened proceedings with an overview of the GLA’s suite of Labour Market Indicators, forecasts, and projections, before bravely attempting a live demo of a visualisation of real-time job posting data. The new tool presents data for online job postings and includes breakdowns such as: occupation, salary, location and skills. The site will be open and free to use on the Datastore in the New Year but is currently in development. We are keen to hear feedback, so please contact Joel if you’re interested in helping us test.

The final two presentations of the morning showcased work from the London Boroughs. Ellis Turner, Environmental Health Manager at Islington, described a recent health mapping project to understand the potential links between housing deprivation and falls. Ellis is keen to collaborate and hear from other Boroughs who are interested in progressing this work, so please do get in touch with him. Finally, Jean Mallo took us through a collaborative project between Waltham Forest, Hackney and OFSTED that aims to improve the flow and presentation of performance data relating to vulnerable children. Jean is crunching national performance data to produce simple dashboards (example below) that effectively present key metrics to children services’ managers.dashboard

The range and depth of content described above highlights some of the really interesting projects and data sharing work already underway across London. It was great to see local government, London Fire Brigade and the third sector sharing the stage – we look forward to strengthening this collaboration in 2017!

The slide deck from the event can be found here (pdf).