Mar 17

In between watching the cricket

Posted: 6 March 2017

Dave Griffiths, Programme Head - Analysis reflects on his career and data collection in social care

I’m not really one for looking back (unless we’re talking about cricket and my own fading abilities) however, I’ve indulged myself a little with the recent launch of our new webpages and the National Minimum Data Set for Social Care (NMDS-SC) ten year anniversary.

I arrived at Skills for Care in February 2006 and was soon surrounded by boxes of paper questionnaires as the NMDS-SC began to gather data. I would quality check these questionnaires before sending them off to a data inputting company.

This company would input all the data and then send the now electronic files to a data analysis company, who would then produce an enormous report that cross-tabulated all the key variables.

Genuinely, I would have to turn to page 768 to see the turnover rate for care workers in the East Midlands.

The questionnaires kept arriving – I recruited two new staff members to help with the quality checking and to help design the reports that would be available from the NMDS-SC website. Both of those staff members (Will and Sarah) are still working with me today, experiencing the whole journey.

So I’m pleased to say that things have moved on a lot – reporting is pretty instant, we have a  huge dataset and our data is now used across the sector by journalists and by the Government.  And I also don’t need to turn to page 768 anymore.

I now oversee a larger and very talented team of analysts as we start to build the next generation of the NMDS-SC.  We’re also introducing some fairly nifty features onto the new web pages over the coming months which will make everyone’s life easier and make it easier to interrogate our data.  Watch this space for more information about this.

I’m proud of everything we’ve achieved so far and particularly our new workforce intelligence webpages. For years we’ve been working closely with local authorities and Universities and now we have somewhere to share these stories.  We’ve got some videos and a new home for our publications and plans to make it even better.

Will I be around when we need to start on version three of the NMDS-SC? We’ll see, but if I’m not helping to design it, I’ll be watching closely, in between watching the cricket.