SEPTEMBER MEETING NOTES

NOTES OF WEST MIDLANDS OPEN DATA FORUM STEERING GROUP,
9TH SEPTEMBER 2014

Attended by: Andrew McKenzie (Open Mercia)
  Susannah Goh (Birmingham Science City) ‑ Chair
  Chris Price (digiconsultancy) ‑ Secretary
  Stuart Lester (Digital Birmingham)
  Hugo Russell (Innovation Birmingham)
  Ted Ryan (RnR Organisation)
  Don Dhaliwal (BCU)
  Gavin Broughton (Data Analyst)
 
Apologies: Ardavan Amini (BCU)
  Bethan Bishop (Heart of England NHS Trust)
  Simon Whitehouse (Data Unlocked)
  Pauline Roche (RnR Organisation)
  Heike Schuster‑James (Digital Birmingham)
  Teresa Jolley (Data Journalist)
 
  1. The Notes of the last meeting of 8thJuly were agreed.  Stuart Lester was attending for Heike S‑J, Teresa Jolley sent her apologies due to work pressure – CP to contact Paul Beckley (Centro) re his interest in engaging with WMODF and transport data.  The group sent sympathies to Simon Whitehouse on the unexpected death of his father.
  1. There was a broad discussion about developments in other initiatives and projects and WMODF’s role in organising events. The proposed events and their target audiences are:
  • speeddata(ing) focussed on data developers;
  • learn and share to link data holders to developers;
  • challenge event looking to enable projects bringing together holders, developers and end users.
Because WMODF has very limited financial resources and time, it was accepted that the best option is to add to what already exists and create open data opportunities arising from calls to address existing challenges.  Some examples of existing work are:
  • Digital Birmingham had successfully bid to the Breakthrough fund (£100k across a number of projects running from 15/9/2014 to 31/3/2015) to build on work in Cambridge and Leeds to develop access to housing data from the Council and Housing Associations. The aim was to open 4‑5 data sets with automated updating – based on the Northgate system.
  • RAWM were interested in community uses for data, particularly health, and were looking to work with the Healthy Villages project (Bordesley, Castle Vale and Sparkbrook).
  • This focus on health links to the Creative Digital Health Solutions (CDHS) project led by the Heart of England Trust, with UHB, BCC, BCU, Innovation Birmingham and Digital Life Sciences. It brings SMEs together with clinicans, patients and Universities to address healthcare challenges with digital solutions.  The business model under which it operates helps NHS partners, especially, to understand how the procurement of innovation may be improved, so that the NHS can access the best innovative solutions while SMEs can be afforded a relatively painless and swift entry into and relationship with this market HEFT were testing a complementary product to their existing health data systems using ‘Crowdicity’ which helps create open innovation.
It was felt that WMODF should align itself to these projects and the topics of Health and Wellbeing and Housing data as well as transport as a potential area of opportunity where open data may be a part of solutions to achieving better things.  WMODF approach should be to use its events and particularly the Challenge event to establish small projects to demonstrate value, possibly in support of local democracy.  It may be most appropriate to shift the aim dates for events back with the Challenge occurring in March 2015.
There was a discussion about the need to link data released from silos to generate greater opportunity for useful outcomes, eg Super Output Area, Postcodes, Unique Property Reference Number (BCC internal reference).  Each offered access to different data sources.  There was also discussion about where potentially valuable open data may reside, eg Health Trusts, Local Authority systems, Census, Housing Associations, Public Health.
It was recognised that it was important to identify potential useful combinations for data in order to focus efforts in development, data release and community usage.  Examples discussed were:
  • relating health ‘do not attends’ (DNAs) to community characteristics;
  • co‑ordination of visits by health, care, housing, waste collection and community volunteers to households.
Encouraged by the potential of such aims and the links to funded projects, discussion turned to the practicalities of data and resources.  There was up to £800 offered through Digital Birmingham for a data development (speeddata).  The Birmingham Made Me event (18‑20 November) could provide hosting and promotion for an event on 20 November.  There was a Centro‑funded project (Zone 5) looking at providing transport information through adapted phones.  The domain Birmingham.io had been secured by a Birmingham‑based developer and would be based on the principles of free and open access to create facilities for local developers, such as events, tech blogs, wifi mapping.
Building on this, SG offered the challenge to all group members (present and absent) to send her details of what is happening and what opportunities there are.
Actions:
Send details of what’s happening and potential opportunities to SG All 14/10
Pauline Roche to contact DD re 20 November PR 14/10
SL to talk to Annette King (Digital Birmingham) re links to data in Housing, Public Health and Census SL 14/10
TR and HR to cooperate re access to health sources, eg Bethan Bishop and Sam German and UHB TR/HR 14/10
  1. Updates:
BCC had achieved the implementation of CKAN located at data.birmingham.gov.uk.  Data was still to be uploaded but discussions were underway re current data sets, eg FoIs and Housing data (Breakthrough Project).  Sustainability (ie updating) would be critical.
The interest of local universities (Warwick, Birmingham, Coventry) in WMODF and open data was being explored.  WMODF recognised the need to get representation by other localities in the region – transport may be a suitable data area to achieve this.GB described the Birmingham.io online resource which can be used to nurture communities of shared interest and action, bringing together developers to work on problem-solving and opportunity-creation
  1. AOB:
Digital Birmingham requested information on data‑driven apps re health and care for the Discovery project event.
Next meeting to be organised for 14th October (continuing the 2nd Tuesday in the month sequence).  Consensus re best time(s) for meetings to be sought.
Thanks to BCU for hosting this meeting.
Actions:
GB agreed to monitor the outcomes of the Hackference GB 14/10
SG to explore best times for future meetings SG 14/10
Info on data‑driven apps for health and care to SL All 14/10
GB to follow up opportunities of activities within Birmingham.io GB 14/10
GB 14/10
CP to circulate agenda for next meeting CP 8/10

 

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