We’re carrying out research into the maturity of social care data in Wales.
What is data maturity?
‘Data maturity’ refers to the readiness of an organisation to make best use of the data it holds.
Why are we carrying out a data maturity assessment?
Our aim is to support all local authorities in Wales to understand how they can make best use of the data that’s collected, processed and shared as part of their delivery of social care.
Understanding how data mature your organisation is allows you to know where to focus your resources to make the best use of the data you collect.
Becoming better at using the data we collect ultimately improves services. It does this by giving you the information you need to make more informed, evidence-based decisions.
Being better with data also leads to an improved work environment for your staff as they become more confident and empowered to use the information you have in their day-to-day activities.
This isn’t about collecting new data, but making better use of the data we already collect.
How will it work?
We’ve commissioned Alma Economics to help us carry out this work.
Alma Economics have extensive experience of supporting organisations to get the best out of their data and will help us develop a data maturity assessment toolkit. This toolkit will look at:
- the kinds of social care data being collected
- how data is currently being collected and managed
- how social care data is shared and who it’s shared with
- how your organisation uses the social care data it collects
- your organisation’s data culture.
During the assessment, we’ll work with you to understand your organisation’s current data maturity.
We want the data maturity assessment to be a helpful process. It's important to remember that the data maturity assessment isn’t a way of measuring the performance of your social services operation or compliance with technical elements of data processing.
What do we need from your organisation?
During the summer, we worked with local authority stakeholders who are involved in data to get their feedback and held sessions to develop a self-assessment toolkit, which is in the form of a survey.
We’re now at the stage where we need local authorities to complete the survey, which includes questions about data in your organisation.
We’ll need someone from your organisation to manage this process and gather your responses.
Ideally, this would be someone with good oversight of the whole social care function, including knowledge and relationships with a range of stakeholders from across the local authority who can help develop a consensus on how social care data is currently being used and managed.
Depending on the specific topic being considered, we expect this role would involve having separate discussions with individuals across the local authority, including:
- social care practitioners
- social care analytical teams
- social care data managers
- ICT and digital services colleagues
- general management within social care teams.
If your local authority has separate data teams for adults and children, you may choose to nominate two people to manage responses from each team. This way, you’ll be able to get insight into both teams.
The assessment toolkit will include guidance on how to complete the survey, and Alma Economics will be available to offer direct support. Alma Economics’ contact details will be included in the toolkit.
We want your responses to be as open and honest as possible. The data maturity project is central to our goal of developing a joined-up health and social care data landscape that provides useful and consistent data to key organisations in health and care
What happens after the assessment?
At the end of the process, we’ll send you a summary report and feedback on what steps your local authority can take to improve its data maturity. This won’t be shared outside of your organisation.
Once all 22 local authorities have been assessed, a report outlining the national picture will be published on our website. This report will give us an overview of the social care data landscape in Wales. Local authorities will remain anonymous in this report.
We also want this project to provide lasting benefits for your organisation. The final version of the toolkit and guidance on how to use it will be handed over at the end of the project for the authority to reuse at any time, with any part of the organisation. The survey questions have, however, been tailored around social care delivery.
Links with other projects
The data maturity project is central to our goal of developing a joined-up health and social care data landscape that provides useful and consistent data to key organisations in health and care.
We want to use this project to introduce other opportunities that will help us to collectively improve the way we use social care data in Wales, including talking about how we share data with health colleagues.
In future, we’ll also be looking at the digital maturity of social care to focus more closely on the skills and capacity in social care to make the best use of digital solutions and technologies.
We want to be able to join in the development of the National Data Resource (NDR) and make sure that the voices and needs of social care professionals are included in its design. The NDR is a new platform that brings together data about health and social care services from across Wales.
We also want to make sure we can make use of every opportunity to use the social care data that’s available to us, including in research projects.
We want social care to lead the way in providing data to the SAIL Databank at Swansea University, so that we can encourage more research in Wales, using Welsh data.
Our priority is to encourage more linked data research on adult social care.
We held a virtual event on 12 September 2023 to give more information about the data maturity assessment project and the NDR.
Among the people who gave presentations at the event were:
- Rob Dutfield, Senior Economist at Alma Economics
- Mike Emery, Chief Digital and Innovation Officer (Health and social care)
- Dr John Peters, Senior Responsible Officer for the NDR programme.
Please contact email@example.com if you'd like information about the presentations or the topics that were discussed during the webinar.
If you have any questions about the project, please contact Jeni Meyrick, our Information Governance Lead, on firstname.lastname@example.org.