Published on Tuesday, 5 Jul, 2016
Half the year gone already! I’ve started to really enjoy writing these round-up posts, not least because it makes me look back at the month just gone, and to consider different things than I may have done at the time.
However, June has been a pretty straightforward month and this will be a rather shorter update than most. Right at the start I’d planned to take a few days off, to enjoy being back at home after spending May in Scottish, Polish, and American hotels. Due to dates shifting, I actually ended up having a week to myself for gardening (sunny bits) and Overwatch (rainy bits – most of it). Despite having a mammoth backlog of business/side project things to do that have built up, I deliberately tried to give myself a bit of time away from that as it has been a draining couple of months.
The remaining time was spent kicking off another project as an ODI associate, this time for Sport England. We’re just wrapping up the final details now and are still to do a couple of presentations, but this was a project intended to strengthen Sport England’s existing relationship with open data, and to make some recommendations around some exciting, broader opportunities.
My work involved conducting a number of interviews (both in person and by video chat), and digging into some of the data sources that they use at present, as well as understanding the plans for strategic and system changes that are already underway. In the short term we needed to understand the realities of what data was held where, how, and how we could get our hands on it in order for the ODI dev team to create a rapidly developed proof of concept. In the longer term, amongst other things we wanted to understand the gaps in processes, challenges around the assorted data being held, and what openness could mean in terms of wider impact. The sporting sector in general is a great example of how much more could be done with data, but where there are also some huge hurdles in terms of commercialisation, personal data, and disconnected, proprietary systems that often don’t have any common standards or talk to each other very well. It’s an exciting space, and I’m sure that over the next few years we’ll see some great developments happen.
Outside of work, myself and my boyfriend have been spending most evenings this month watching football, cooking Euro 2016 Dinners and documenting everything on the linked site. Highlights for me have been coq au vin for France, risotto al nero di seppia for Italy, and Croatian Čupavci, as well as perfecting spätzle. Only three meals left now. I think I’ll be equally relieved and sad when it’s all over again for another two years.