Projects 2010 > I heart my city > Journal
Well, it's been a long hard road but we think we may get a new, fresh juicy data file any minute now. Fantastic news.
Meanwhile, we have been thinking hard about what it means to work with data. There are lots of really great examples of what can be done with existing data sets, lots of sexy visualisation and emotional stories which we love. It's amazing what can be done with big old excel file with lines and lines of information.
But what we're trying to do is something a bit more different by bringing context to the data, deliberately focusing on a question, eliciting responses. The trouble is, data is collected for myriad reasons, especially the Quality of Life survey, and it changes from year to year. Which means we can't be guaranteed a consistent pattern over time to correlate against the spending information. Complicated stuff.
We're also interested in the ways in which other local authorities are delivering their information, if we want to make our project repeatable for organisations in the future, we have to be prepared to go through some serious work get the data we need to make it function.
From our conversations with the Bristol City Council Finance Team, we know that none of this is easy, but they are working really hard to get their data into great shape for publication whilst navigating evolving structure, privacy and confidentiality issues that arise. Hopefully other councils are working equally hard at getting their data into shape too.