We think that it’s vital that the Health and Social Care sector embrace open data. By making data available we create great opportunities to build new things and better understand the environment we work in.

As we’ve posted on this blog before, everyone has a role to play in improving what we know about the communities we work with. In our day to day work we all collect data, much of that is to meet contractual requirements but it can have a wider use. For this reason, we have made the ability to create open data reports the fundamental basis of our Risk Tracker and Referral Tool systems.

Part of our enthusiasm for the open data agenda involves working with groups such as the West Midlands Open Data Forum to promote the benefits of sharing data. The West Midlands Open Data Forum is a group of interested people and organisations that have come together to promote the benefits of releasing and uniting data to benefit communities, businesses and public services.

One of the issues that we have found, in talking to people about open data, is a lack of clarity in exactly what we mean. To try and get round this we have made this video that covers the very basics of what open data is and how it works. We hope this video can be shared to get a better understanding of what we mean by open data in a very non-technical way. You can download the video from here (small file size 167mb) or here (large file size 450mb)  or you can share it on Youtube. It is entirely free to use in any way you want.