What data is
Data is information which can be:
- quantitative— made up of numbers.
- qualitative— made up of words.
It can be used to understand:
- the experiences of children and families in and around the “care system,”
- the processes they encounter in the “care system” itself, and
- the outcomes they face as a result of these.
How might it look if Scotland did data differently?
Doing Data Differently is vital to keeping the promise
Scotland needs data that works for families
The Independent Care Review's report that made the promise ,found that the ‘care system’ collects data on what matters to itself, and not on what matters to the people who live in and around it.
That was true for what matters to these people around:
- their experiences, and
- their outcomes.
The report was clear that collection of data can't be the main way that Scotland understands how children and families experience its "care system."
But it's also clear that it's vital for data to improve in terms of:
- quality , and
It's also important for it to think about where linking data together can improve accountability. Analysing the outcomes from "the care system" may become easier once certain connections are made.
Organisations across Scotland face challenges around data
Issues around data are a key challenge in making sure Scotland can #KeepThePromise. They make it harder to:
- facilitate change, so that it can happen in the first place, and
- support change, so that it can keep happening once it begins.
Most of the organisations who engaged with the Independent Care Review said they had issues like this, which impacted their service delivery.
They faced challenges around:
- data collection,
- data access, and
- data sharing.
But better data can lead to better understanding
The data systems Scotland has now aren't good enough to support:
- monitoring progress towards keeping the promise, and
- evaluating the progress that's been made.
This is true at both a local and national level. Data systems aren't capable of supporting progressive transformational change.
And it will keep being true while the "care system" collects data on what matters to itself— and not on what matters to people within it.
Data alone won't solve problems. But it can act as a guide towards what a solution could be.
So to #KeepThePromise, Scotland needs better – and more timely – access to information.
As well as knowing what's happening, it needs to know about why those things are happening.
What are the key problems Scotland faces around data?
The Promise Data Map
Scotland has lots of data about things which directly and indirectly impact children and their families.
But right now, there's no shared understanding or way of finding out:
- what information is captured across Scotland,
- how this information is used and shared, or
- who's using or sharing this information.
The Promise Scotland is creating a data map to help change this— a way to navigate the data Scotland holds.