Using data to create maps of various kinds is an intriguing and entertaining process: but is it useful? Could such maps make us unjustifiably confident that we know where we are, and where we should be going?
As a social investor we're inescapably dependent on data from the organisations we support if we wish understand our own impact. They too must have their data dependencies: service-users, staff, partner organisations, open data sources or all of the above. Yet 'extracting' the data we're after from our working relationships can be tricky: we none of us enjoy filling in forms at others' behest.
What can we learn from one of our projects about how to go about it?
Like all social investors, Nominet Trust wants to find satisfying and consistent ways to describe the value created through the funds we distribute. Data - open, big and otherwise - is a central component in this process, but how do we determine what, amongst the expanding vastness of the counted and the countable, really counts?
It’s been a year since I started blogging here at Nominet Trust, exploring the research around new technologies particularly in education. There probably hasn’t been a more exciting time in the Nominet Trust year for me as they’ve just announced a new fund with the Education Endowment Foundation – it’ll be great to see what’s funded and what outcomes they achieve. I’m going to use this final blog of the year I’ll sum up what I’ve covered so far and how it’s all related.
In my last post, I said I’d talk a bit more about knowledge mapping. I’m particularly interested in this area because while information retrieval through search engines is rather well supported for individuals engaging in fairly short factual retrieval, longer and collaborative tasks have relatively less tools for their facilitation. So this is an interesting area from an information management perspective in general.