Sowing the seeds: how we have grown, nurtured talent and built capacity for future success
When we launched ecda one year ago, I never dreamt it would result in establishing so many new relationships, our partners now feel like an extended family. Data has not driven this, people have.
Together ecda’s members share a passion to build capacity in our own organisations and across the Essex system to use data better!
Together we have we sown the seeds to form new partnerships, ploughed ahead with reciprocal arrangements and importantly we have also nurtured our most valuable assets to help find a way to connect our analysts with one another.
Together we’ve been busy developing analytics and embedding new data science approaches. And here’s the low down of how we’ve been achieving that…
Forming new partnerships
After a successful tender process, we have partnered with Cloudwick and AwS to design and implement a new cloud-based data sharing platform. The platform “Amorphic Data” allows us to safely and securely share data with partners, whilst maintaining control over our data to produce insight that strengthens our approach to intervening early and delivering preventative solutions. The solution is interoperable with our existing analytics and reporting tools. This allows us to join data using a set of defined business rules, analyse data, code, and disseminate insight in tools that we are already used to.
The platform will allow us to deliver reproducible analytical pipelines to keep current projects up to date in a smart and efficient manner and will enable us to start additional collaborative data projects in a safe and sustainable way. It’s exciting to see new partners such as EPUT and Basildon Hospital Trust using the platform and I look forward to more partners utilising its capabilities over the coming year.
During the year we have worked with the LDP, who funded a role in our team to deliver new insights about physical inactivity and have published a dashboard for all partners to use enabling the system to take an integrated approach to tackling the barriers to activity.
We are now setting up a new role with Mid and South STP to support their approach to population health and analytics reset and recovery. Our reputation precedes us, and ecda was their first port of call to offer skills and expertise to help them with future challenges. It’s a real win win - we offer an analyst the opportunity to work in multiple organisations and explore different data across a shared challenge, and all organisations benefit from new skills, tools and insight that might have otherwise been hard to fulfil. We hope these new secondment arrangements will benefit both parties and allow local talent to be retained across the Essex system.
Connecting with each other
There are more than 250 analysts within Essex who do what we do – analyse data and turn it into insight – and very little sharing of skills and knowledge is done within this community. Analysts tend to do what they do best (head down analysing data) and sometimes collaborating with others and sharing skills and experiences feels a bit, well, fluffy!
With the help of ecda we have set up a new analyst network called Be Part of the Equation. Analysts from across our partnership meet quarterly as an opportunity to connect with one another and learn something new. Whilst still in its infancy it was great to see colleagues from Essex police, ECC, Uni and health all getting to know one another (I think the free food helped!) At our next event we have a great guest speaking who will be teaching us all about how to build the perfect data science burger which is already making me hungry for more!
So, come on, what are you waiting for….