Hooray! It’s the Trafford Intelligence and Innovation Lab!

Cow jumping over moon

Here at InfoTrafford towers we are absolutely over the moon at the news that we’ve been awarded some money from the Cabinet Office and ODUG’s Release of Data Fund, to support a really exciting project that we’ve been planning.

Building on the success of InfoTrafford, we’re looking to develop a Partnership Innovation and Intelligence Lab, which will take the principles by which we developed InfoTrafford, and use them to bring together a greater range of datasets from our partners.

Accompanying these datasets will be the people from the respective organisations who understand the data – where it comes from, how to get it, and, crucially, what stories the data tells. This means that we will actually be sitting and working together – using our collective insight and knowledge to give us an incredible understanding of the needs and opportunities in Trafford.

Whilst this is the main purpose of the lab, there will be other things that we’ll be doing. We’ll be using the InfoTrafford platform to make available even more data, analyses and visualisations. A key focus will be to make it easier to find information on InfoTrafford. We’ll also be adding all Open Data that we produce to data.gov.uk, and investigating what we can do with datagm.org.uk.

Where appropriate (ie – not personal data, or subject to copyright), our data will also be modelled and uploaded to the GMDSP quad store, which will hopefully lead to synchronisation with other LAs in Greater Manchester. This is how we will achieve 5* status for our Open Data, and will be supported by Open Data Institute Certificates (we already have a ‘Pilot’ certificate for our streetlights data – the first Local Authority in the North to achieve any kind of certificate, and the first Local Authority anywhere to get Pilot..!)

We will also be looking at new technologies, and how we might use them in our quest to make Trafford even better. Sensor arrays, machine learning, and drones are all examples of emerging tech that has the possibility to help (re)design services, or alter demand – we just aren’t yet sure how.

The final thing that the lab will offer is an ‘Open Workspace’. The principle is that we will dedicate a space in the office to allow members of the developer community; voluntary sector and charities; professionals; and students, to come and look over our shoulder at the work that we’ll be doing. They (you..?) will be able to ask for data, see what we hold that we’ve not released yet, test bids or apps with us, or just see how we’re using data and technology in partnership with others.

So what happens next?

I’ve met with all the people who’ll be involved from the beginning, and as soon as we’ve got a space to call our own, we’ll be starting to work together. For a variety of reasons, we aren’t sure exactly when this will be…

I’ll also be presenting the Lab concept to the Trafford Partnership at the end of July (Slidedeck to be made available)

We’ll get cracking immediately with a few pieces of work:

We’re intending to run this entire thing in the open, so we’ll be blogging here whenever we see fit to. I’ll also be tweeting as and when, @_datapreneur, so that’s probably worth a follow, if you are interested. You can also email me, at jamie.whyte@trafford.gov.uk. You could also try phoning me on 07541495259, if you want…

Please feel free to get in touch!



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