On Monday 25th April 2016 I attended a Local Government Association (LGA) event “Making Data Standards Work” which through a series of presentations explored the role that common standards for data can have in improving the performance, effectiveness and accountability of local government.
Given I have a background in web development, an activity that wouldn’t exist without technology that conforms to standards, it should be obvious that I do not need convincing of the importance of working to common standards. Yet my recent work with open data for a local authority has reinforced this view and given me a greater understanding of how a standards model can be applied to a range of other activities and sectors. It has also deepend my commitment to the importance of open standards.
So I was interested to hear at the event about how standards are playing a role in the wide agenda of local government. From the various presentations I was able to pick up a number of specific ideas and to get a useful broad view of the different bodies and organisations involved in this area of work. I think the main insight that I came away with from this event (apart from the general level of geekiness that such a topic generates) was how sigificant a role that developing a standards based approach can play in service transformation. There were a couple of really neat examples of how this was happening in practice – but it was also obvious that UK local government is only really just begining to recognise the power that such an approach can have.
For my reference here a links to some of the more useful organisations or resources mentioned during the day: