Data Discussions @ The Guardian
Presentations and discussions were engaging, and far reaching. As is the norm with this type of event we seemed to jump around data collection, publication, visualisation and interchange concepts around Open, Big and Private data. Throw into the mix some expression around privacy, outcomes, impact and sustainability and you can imagine the head scratching.
Nevertheless, it’s great to continue these discussions, and the twitter stream was also active.
More to follow, no doubt.
3 Tiny Habits
Serendipitously, on the train back to Mcr, I delved into something I had hanging around to read: the “3 Tiny Habits” methodology from BJ Fogg. Fogg is really interested in how we form and keep new habits. His approach is for people to aim to establish three habits over a week, so long as each has the the following characteristics:
- you do [the habit] at least once a day
- [the habit] takes you less then 30 seconds
- [the habit] requires little effort
Interestingly, Fogg also recommends that new habits are best learnt when undertaken after existing one:
After I [existing habit/anchor], I will [new tiny behaviour]
For example, he cites:
After I turn on lights in evening, I will close the sunroom blinds.
It’s interesting stuff, which I’ll try.
Data Processes are Personal
Back to the non-profit data. It struck me that the conversations were mainly centred upon the organisation and its relationship to data.
- A community group could publish data.
- A charity should use data.
- An NGO might mine data.
I’m thinking we need to shift this down to the specific people and tasks/tools within these entities if we are to get significant traction:
- The chair of a community group would be responsible for publishing their funding data
- A researcher at a charity would monitor CKAN packages for data sources particular to their field of interest
- An activist at an NGO would use a tool such as Google Refine to cleanup messy data received from the field
.. rinse and repeat.
Tiny Data Habits
And so, putting 2+2 together – you might see where the Tiny Data Habits is headed!
If we can:
- break down our data functions and processes
- build habits and routines at the personal level
- turn these into routine and regular behaviours
…then maybe there is a foundation for a better #npdata ecosystem:
Of course, there may be some straying from the rules of habit-forming described by BJ Fogg, but I’m interested in how establishing clear data related habits for people within non-profits can be established, maintained and developed:
- After the AOB agenda of a committee meeting, the chair of a community group will enquire with others what funding data is available to publish
- After lunch each day, a researcher at a charity will check their CKAN feeds subscription for new datasets
- After downloading a new data file, an NGO activist would run pre-compiled scripts via Google Refine (or similar).
Erm, anyone any other ideas on what these Tiny Data Habits would be?
(And the photo? I’m trying to form a habit to photograph our sunflowers each day for the MOSI Alan Turning project)