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  • Where's my Parachute? Life as an Intelligence Manager (Joining Essex during lockdown!)

    Posted on: - On blog: Insight Blog

    Never content with an easy life, I made the decision that my next career move would be in a different sector, having spent many years in the Health Sector, I thought moving to Local Government was the choice for me! Little did I know at the time that my move would be made under the most bizarre set of circumstances……

  • Forecasting, Excel and Tinkerbell

    Posted on: - On blog: Insight Blog

    Anyone who has spoken to me over the last few months has probably learnt two things, I have been working on the Early Years Forecasting Tool refresh and my co-worker is a Tinkerbell obsessed two-year-old. Although I could probably write …

  • Not another webinar?!

    Posted on: - On blog: Insight Blog

    I know many of us might be experiencing ‘webinar fatigue’ right now with flurries of invites to attend some webinar/show and tell/budget TedTalk or the like, and we think “am I really interested enough to give up my time for this?” But I wanted to share a bit about how our experience of co-hosting a webinar really paid off!

  • Data Science, no doubt about it

    Posted on: - On blog: Insight Blog

    I love a good podcast so when I found one which links to data storytelling obviously it went straight on my list. Not only is it a great listen there's also loads to learn from as analysts seeking to ensure …

  • Are Freedom of information requests like a box of chocolates?

    Posted on: - On blog: Insight Blog

    The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act gives everyone the right to request any recorded information held by public authorities. At Essex County Council we can receive as many as many as 2,000 requests in a year, each varying in the …

  • Transformation is the change you earn, not just a recurring meeting

    Posted on: - On blog: Service Transformation

    Bhupinder will be leaving the Service Transformation team soon. She reflects on what brought her here and what she'll be taking away with her.

  • Forecasting the impact of Covid-19 on Public Sector Services

    Posted on: - On blog: Insight Blog

    Anyone that knows me knows that I have a love-hate relationship with forecasting (similar to Tottenham & Ivory Coast fullback Serge Aurier). (And (***shameless plug alert***) you can find out why by watching this video presentation!). It essentially boils down to one …

  • Keeping up with the… Open Data Team!

    Posted on: - On blog: Insight Blog

    When people ask me “Rebecca, what would you like to write a blog about?” I always tell them that I want to write a blog about the Kardashians. Apparently, this isn’t an acceptable use of my time, so I’m here …

  • Catapult Data Science Fellowship

    Posted on: - On blog: Insight Blog

    When I first started the Data Science Fellowship project, I wasn’t sure whether my own expectations would align with the COVID-19 distorted reality. I was joining the ECC as a ‘Data Science Fellow’, with all the impostor syndrome that accompanies such …

  • Hi, I'm a service designer, I'm going to help you get things done

    Posted on: - On blog: Service Transformation

    In a crisis, having a methodology that asks the right questions, gives shared understanding and develops practical solutions is invaluable. Nic Ward tells us how service design adapted to help the coronavirus response in Essex.

  • Shooting for the Moon

    Posted on: - On blog: Insight Blog

    As year one of the Essex Centre for Data Analytics (ecda) draws to a close, I find myself pausing to reflect on the past 12 months. Earlier in July, ecda published a video that highlighted some of our successes from …

  • Three heads are better than one (unless you are shopping for hats)

    Posted on: - On blog: Insight Blog

    Because of my role-slash-job-title everyone wants to talk to me about their data work. ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL the time… And it’s not just people in my team (the excellent Analytics & Data Science team), it is other teams at Essex County Council, …

  • Be Part of the Equation

    Posted on: - On blog: Insight Blog

    Sowing the seeds: how we have grown, nurtured talent and built capacity for future success When we launched ecda one year ago, I never dreamt it would result in establishing so many new relationships, our partners now feel like an …

  • Running a workshop with one of our busiest teams

    Posted on: - On blog: Service Transformation

    How do you design a workshop for a team that can't spare more than 90 minutes at a time? Bhupinder Mann reveals that a time limitation can help rather than hinder productivity.

  • Clustering for understanding

    Posted on: - On blog: Insight Blog

    Drowning in data and need to find a means of reducing it in a meaningful way?!  It's a familiar feeling! We have thousands of data sets that tell us something about all the communities in Essex - but we can’t …

  • Digital remote working - research findings

    Posted on: - On blog: Service Transformation

    We've undertaken a unique piece of research into remote working in response to the current situation. In the second of our posts, we reveal the findings and recommendations of this research.

  • Digital remote working: bringing the theory to life

    Posted on: - On blog: Service Transformation

    Responding to unprecedented times, we've undertaken a unique discovery. Jane, Ruxi and Sabrina talk through taking digital remote working from theory into the real world.

  • Get your rhythm back with RAP

    Posted on: - On blog: Insight Blog

    “Repetition is the mother of learning, the father of action, which makes it the architect of accomplishment,” so says philanthropist Tony Robbins! In analytics there are certain tasks that are regularly repeated – processing raw data, running specific analyses, updating …

  • A synergy of skills

    Posted on: - On blog: Insight Blog

    Skills and training connect people, data, and action at ecda. The interaction between policy makers, data analysts, and academics helps to identify the areas where we need to share data and work together to produce insight that contributes to service …

  • In the new normal, every day's a school day

    Posted on: - On blog: Service Transformation

    Trying to rebuild the office at home with the kids feels like juggling bricks. As we approach Learning Campaign week, Maria tells us how we can change our mindset to embrace the new normal.

  • "Let's just work together", when 2 content teams became 1

    Posted on: - On blog: Service Transformation

    Many people have been redeployed during the lockdown. We talk to the leaders of two teams who found their redeployment a natural fit.

  • Stop! Collaborate and listen…refocusing our research programme

    Posted on: - On blog: Insight Blog

    When the coronavirus epidemic began to take hold in the UK, things started escalating pretty quickly. Once life as we know it started changing around us, we realised we were going to have to sort out our priorities, and fast.

  • Living from home, working from work

    Posted on: - On blog: Service Transformation

    Our offices are now beginning to reopen to some teams. We spoke to Laura Fisk about why she's looking forward to getting back to the office.

  • "It's just a website, we aren't going to the moon"

    Posted on: - On blog: Service Transformation

    When you're iterating, each step is as important as the next. Our developer, Martin, explains how launching a new product doesn't have to be a voyage into the unknown.

  • Geo-Spatial Analysis: Not Just A Pretty Picture

    Posted on: - On blog: Insight Blog

    One good thing to have come out of lockdown has been the little bit of extra time to learn and test new things. I’ve spent a lot of my recent free time making the most of my DataCamp license, learning …

  • Making good decisions in a time of crisis

    Posted on: - On blog: Service Transformation

    In times of crisis, we don't always have time to design solutions. Bhupinder and Ryan explain how service and business design methodologies can create the space our colleagues need for collaboration and decision-making.

  • Research while working from home can be done!

    Posted on: - On blog: Insight Blog

    Is it okay if I work from home today, I have a sofa being delivered? Can I work from home for 3 months because of a global pandemic?...

    The research team within ECC have had to adapt like all other ECC functions and utilise the technology that would never have been thought about previously, and the ways of a researcher have had to adapt faster to this at an unnerving pace.

  • The Very Hungry Juniors

    Posted on: - On blog: Insight Blog

    Being a Junior Analyst is kind of like being a caterpillar- we are on the journey to becoming beautiful analytical butterflies! There’s a lot of knowledge and skills to learn (eat) along the way and here we’re going to share …

  • My name's Emma, and I'm a reluctant homeworker

    Posted on: - On blog: Service Transformation

    For Emma, working from home was something she tried to avoid. So, when that became the new normal, she dreaded it. She tells us how remote working has worked out quite well for her.

  • Accessibility awareness: just because it's not broken, doesn't mean it's working

    Posted on: - On blog: Service Transformation

    We asked our front-end developers, Jack and Martin, to decode accessibility and give us their top 5 accessibility fails and how to fix them.

  • Talent wins games, but teamwork wins championships

    Posted on: - On blog: Insight Blog

    I’m partial to a board game, my prowess at Cluedo is well known among my nearest and dearest. I think analytics is a bit like a detective game - stitching together the clues, refining the key lines of questioning, ruling …

  • Opposite ends of the UK, but still at the heart of the team

    Posted on: - On blog: Service Transformation

    Matt Jukes and Jane Reid are legends of the public sector digital world. Despite being at opposite ends of the UK, they're getting stuck into their new roles with Essex.

  • Confessions of a Data & Analytics Manager

    Posted on: - On blog: Insight Blog

    Over the course of the lockdown, I have seen a lot of people posting on MySpace and Bebo (other social media platforms are available, but if it was good enough for 2006 it’s good enough for me) about how they …

  • Jog on: taking lockdown in your stride

    Posted on: - On blog: Service Transformation

    If lockdown's driving you around the bend, why not take a run around the block? Content designer, John, tells us how he's plodding through working from home.

  • Shining a light on the potential of open data

    Posted on: - On blog: Insight Blog

    Sharing insight and intelligence that helps our county to plan, prioritise and shape our understanding of community needs has always been important to us.  As part of our collaborative data efforts we have launched a new Open Data COVID-19 risk …

  • How much knowledge is too much knowledge?

    Posted on: - On blog: Service Transformation

    Discovery is all about finding out what you don't know. So what happens when you're a subject matter expert? User researcher, Julie, finds out how collaboration can help you find the right questions, before you start looking for answers.

  • Home comforts: keeping up morale when you're locked down

    Posted on: - On blog: Service Transformation

    DIY desks, 'helpful' pets and living room yoga. Find out how the Service Transformation team are coping with working from home during lockdown.

  • Telling Ella's story with impact

    Posted on: - On blog: Insight Blog

    Back in, what feels like, the distant past when we could all go out to the pub and the news wasn’t exclusively about Coronavirus I entered an NHS data visualisation competition. Now obviously the NHS has a fair bit going …

  • A new role, a new team and a very familiar office

    Posted on: - On blog: Service Transformation

    How do you join a team that's not there? Rich explains how lockdown rocked his first month in the Service Transformation team.

  • Realising the value of data to shield our most vulnerable

    Posted on: - On blog: Insight Blog

    Never has data been more in need. Over the past three weeks we have been working tirelessly to identify the needs of our residents, react to the needs of our organisations and support partners as we all work together to …