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The emerging value of data

We have noticed an emerging and interesting trend within each group since the beginning of the project that is worth noting. This trend is that each of the groups is now much more aware of the value of the data that they collect, store, or manage within their database.

This is especially the case in terms of the data produced through the monitoring programs that each group have been involved with for some time, usually as data collectors. For example, groups that have been participating in long term monitoring programs (i.e. those that began before the start of this pilot project), now recognise the significance that this historical data might have in relation to their own indicators. This now occurs to the extent that they are comfortable to make specific requests for this data and the format through which they’d like to receive it. This confidence and authority is a key positive outcome and will be explored further in a coming Blog post.

This emergent appreciation for data also relates to data that has been kept by the organisation (sometimes incidentally). These datasets include employment records, photos of community events, past project reports, records of repatriated materials, etc. This information has proven relevant to the indicators that form the monitoring framework and is therefore now seen as valuable. These experiences of connecting previously unused data with potential meaning has demonstrated the value of recording and maintaining information.

Learning note:

In contrast to the start of the project, at which time datasets such as these might have been (and commonly were) perceived as confusing and meaningless, groups now recognise the value of their data. This should be seen as a positive outcome of this project but is one that could easily be overlooked.

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