A year of work in progress – day 173

Day 173 – 13 October 2014

When you are reading a book there are three important parts, the first one hundred pages, the middle and the last one hundred pages. In the beginning you’re excited. You’re getting to know the characters and the plot is starting to reveal itself. The middle however is like rowing across the ocean. With each page you have travelled further from the shore and there comes a point where you can’t see where you have come from but your destination is not yet in view. All around you is words. During the last one hundred pages you realise that you are coming towards the end and the tension builds as the book comes to its climax.

I’ve reached the last one hundred pages of this year but it’s not like a novel, it’s more like a serial. While it is exciting that things are drawing to a conclusion there are others which are growing nicely. There are going to be some cliff hangers that will see me into the New Year. Big Data is one of these. On Friday afternoon Steve and I sat down with the first two of the ten respondents to the soft market exercise that we plan to meet. One was from academia and the other a red in tooth and claw service provider. Both were excellent. They really understood the excitement held within our data and were itching to be allowed to wander in amongst it. At this stage this is exactly what we are looking for, not answers to questions but an unbridled desire to go and see what is in there.

Only eight more to go but this is going to be hard.

There are four things that I must get sorted of this week, two reports (one on accommodation and the other on the joint work with Northumberland) and two presentations (the conference and the upcoming tier four managers meetings). There are other things I must do as well. In terms of urgency I will have to put the Northumberland report first even though the accommodation one is required sooner. As it happens I’ve already made a start on the presentations and this morning was relatively free and allowed me to make a start on the reports.

I was supposed to meet up with Neil at Morpeth this morning but he got caught up in something else so we rearranged to this Friday. In the afternoon I drove over to Dale and Valley Homes in Bishop Auckland and covered many of the things I got into with East Durham Homes the week before.  The coming together of the housing associations into County Durham Housing Group is a hot topic for us and one I need to stick close to.

In the evening I attended Stanley Area Action Partnership. I’ve never really felt that I’d contributed to this and so I tried something new. During the partnership part of the agenda I gave an update on some things that were happening across the Council, based upon the Chief Executive’s update to the Extended Management Team. I think I’ll try this every time I go.

Learning points for today: Business Intelligence is an oxymoron; every touch point is a data gathering opportunity; they use PowerPoint in the Vatican and; the sat nav tells me to go that way for a reason.

Today’s enjoyment rating 8/10 – a good start to the week despite the late evening.

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