A year of work in progress – day 199

Day 199 – 20 November 2014

I’d never been to Abbey Leisure Centre. I’ve driven past it many times on my way through Pity Me but never needed to stop. Anyone who knows me (or has seen me) will know that leisure centres are not really my thing – too much sweat and Jeyes Fluid. I lead a more sedentary existence.

I was there not to improve my physical prowess but for a meeting on ICT provision to the leisure facilities. It turned out that there has been some misunderstanding over what we can and don’t do. As if this was a first! We agreed how we were going to respond and then I think the best thing will be to have a meeting to agree the way forward.

Back at County Hall Steve and I had the last of our Big Data pre-procurement sessions. This time it was with a very big global organisation. As always they came to us with a different approach to the others and so the decision as to who we go forward with is going to be difficult. We have been presented with a ten faced opportunity, a decahedron.

Back on day 27 I described how the First World War was the first real war of mass destruction brought about by the coming together of the desire to fight and new technologies. The opportunity around Big Data has arrived by the coming together of huge amounts of information and the technology to do something with it. The big data revolution is not about the quantity but about the fact that now that we can do something with the data. Apparently, understanding is more important than governance and, please note, data can’t be wrong, people can be.

Steve and I are getting our heads together in a couple of weeks.

After lunch and after Lee’s one to one we had our Resources Management Team meeting. I had a couple of papers on the agenda. The paper on Dynamo, which I talked about at the board on Tuesday, was one of them. The other was our application map.

The application map (it really should be known as an architecture map) was always going to be a challenge. Describing the complicated relationship across the council’s hundreds of systems was never going to be easy especially on a single PowerPoint slide. I took a simple and hopefully not simplistic drawing and described the benefits of the approach. We had a good discussion and agreed an approach to taking this to the rest of the organisation. I need to make the slide a bit more attractive but otherwise good to go.

Learning points for today: A projectile room used to be known as a shooting gallery; I’m guilty until proven innocent; Lies, we should replace the expression with lies, damned lies and data; there are no results for ‘hedgehog’ on the Intranet; FUD stands for fear uncertainty and doubt and; I could do with a profanity filter.

Today’s enjoyment rating 7/10 – a little better than yesterday.

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