Northern Alliance
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Building Blocks
How do we go ahead from here?
For over six months, we have been engaging with the stakeholders and the education ecosystem at large in the Northern Alliance region of Scotland. Through all these interaction we were able to understand their role and responsibilties, the tools they have at their disposal to help improve the attainment rate in their regions, and most importantly their relationship with data and platforms when trying to achieve their goals.
Through all these interactions, one theme has surfaced more often than any other challenges and aspirations of the stakeholders. The desire for a "One Stop Shop" solution that encompasses all their needs, and creates a single entry point to all the information required for support pupils and understand their needs based on the local context.

The Opportunity

Existing workflows for many stakeholders comprises of working with data available through current platfroms, individually requesting data files from various offices and collecting information that is unavailable to fill the knowledge gaps. And the challenges don't stop there, as stakeholders then also need to bring the data from all these different sources together and identify the keys insights and trends important for their decision making process.
In such context, a "One Stop Shop" solution holds an immense opportunity to completely transform these existing workflows and create solutions that can bring togehter various aspects of the process onto one central platform. The solution envisionsed should be able to let stakeholders analyse all necessary information to holistically support a child with information like health, socio-economic status, mobility and more providing relevant context.
The platform should also not just stop at that but enable stakeholders to go beyond the insights available and explore further according to their local contexts by bringing different sources of information together. The envisioned solution would also let users save these customised views for internal usage and share key data insights and visualisations with the community at large for knowledge sharing and capacity building.

Involving the Community

The potential of this opportunity also comes with its challenges. To build the solution as envisioned would mean building consensus within and across several Local Authorities on what the are the challenges we will be addressing. This would mean taking into account their existing plans and priorities, acknowledging the challenges around data sharing agreements, and solving them keeping protection of child privacy at the centre.
In order to achieve the dreams shared by the stakeholders, it will be integral bring the community together when identifying the next steps. The community will play a key role in identifying the direction we chose for the solution and expanding upon their initial requirements. This will also help create a strong investment in the success and adoption of the solution.

A Phased Approach

The solution as envisioned in its current form would require a substantial multi-party effort to identify which are the factor our work will be focussing on, bring together all the data from the various sources and more.
It will be important to identifty a few key sectors and datasets to begin with and propose a phased plan to approach. Our partners at the Northern Alliance and the University of Stratclyde will play an important role in making these decisions and ensuring validity of our approach.
A requirements document will shortly be released as a part of this, which summarises our learnings from the work completed till now and components that will be required to begin work on the development of the solution.