Joining Up Staff Data: Week Note w/c 21/10/19 – Alpha (Experiment).

It’s the end of the first week of our first sprint in experiment mode.

We’re working 20 hours a week and exploring various ways of working to make some headway in to this.

Because it’s an experiment, I am going to set up a G+ Community to post a few more updates and snippets as we go along – we seem to be moving at pace which is a good thing, but we want to make sure that we take people with us and that we don’t whizz off at 100mph in a direction that no one wants us to!

Our goal in this Alpha is that we will have identified and created a means to join people data together across systems and we have used this to deliver key insights about the business.

We’re now sure how we’re going to do this yet, but that’s because it’s too early to do so.

I received a comment on my week note last week that read “Just to say that people data has been an issue in every organisation I’ve done IM work in – so kudos for tackling it and don’t despair!” So it seems we’re not alone in giving this a crack and we may want to explore what else has been done to crack this code. (Before we get too excited about this, the message also said “I once had someone say to one of my suggestions when you’ve worked here as long as I have, ****, you’ll know that will never work”.

However, we’re giving this our best crack and so far we are making headway.

In similar fashion to the experiment that ran before us, we are moving faster than most of us expected. The hurdles and blockages that we have encountered so far have been surmountable and we have started to get a feel for the data and the quality of it.

The temptation with projects such as this is to get lost in an endless pit of data examination…

  • What links to what?
  • How does it get there and where does it go?
  • How well are all of the fields populated?
  • What is the thinking behind this entry and that?
  • What percentage of anything is applicable?

We tackled this early on by committing ourselves to two major foundation stones:

  1. We are just testing something here (this is an alpha, not everything for ever).
  2. We have to know when we have ‘enough’ as opposed to knowing everything about everything.

With these two driving forces in mind, we whittled down the systems we would investigate most closely to:

  • iTrent
  • Active Directory
  • G Suite

We also decided we would have a look at Matrix as well, although we recognise this is not a Council Administered system and so there will be some limitations here.

After a prioritisation exercise ‘borrowed’ from Housing Data In The Cloud, we also opted to focus on five key information fields that were either present in each system (or we believe have the potential to be present in each system). These were:

  • First Name
  • Surname
  • National Insurance Number
  • Employee Number
  • Hackney email address.

We were pleased with these choices and we think they’ll make great candidates for a deep dive investigation to see what is actually there (or what isn’t as the case may be), so that we can begin to think about how we might be able to bring the data together to start getting some insights for the business.

This coming week, we’re going to proceed with our ‘deep dive’ and so that we can create a show and tell that helps us to work with our stakeholders about the ‘what’ aspect of this alpha.

  • What the data sets are
  • What the quality of the data is like
  • What they look like on each of the systems
  • What’s missing
  • What missing or corrupted data means for this project.

This will help us to for the ‘how’ part of this project will be the main thrust of sprint 2.

But look at me getting all ahead of myself! Right now, we’re pleased that we worked hard and came up with a criteria, some data sets that we’re going to examine this week and the systems that we’re interested in having a look at.

In amongst all of this, we were also the first users of the new multi disciplinary desk area to great effect… we think they’re a hit. On Monday, we couldn’t get on to them – so it seems they were a hit with everyone else too.

(But we were first! #earlyadopters)

Please look out for the G+ community this week, and if you can’t find it, feel free to shout at me for not getting it up and running yet!

Until Sprint 2.

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