Creative Dundee

Bringing Data to Earth: Life in Data

This one-day event on 24 September 2018 brought together civic society representatives, and communities of interest to explore and workshop open datasets, data visualisation and data-driven decision making for the public good. This event, facilitated by Life in Data and hosted in partnership with Creative Dundee, focused on four key themes highly relevant to our civic lives today:

Bringing Data to Earth was open to anyone and everyone interested in how we use data to inform and improve our daily working practices, and is relevant to those involved in grassroots communities through to those working in large public bodies.

During this practical day, we heard from a range of speakers from across Scotland on the four key civic themes and have the opportunity to engage, debate and discuss how we actually bring data to earth.

“It’s about empowering people: to engage with data from government, from administration, from private organisations to try and help people feel empowered to improve their communities.” Catherine Lido, School of Education, University of Glasgow.

UPDATE: Watch the filmed talks from the event.

More about our speakers and sessions:

What are the possible future designs of PB processes? By considering the qualitative and quantitative data that is and isn’t being collected through PB in Scotland, we will explore the good, the bad and the ugly of PB in Scotland and discuss together the art of the possible for PB in the future.

Colin Freeman is a Community Empowerment Manager, Participatory Budgeting at Dumfries and Galloway Council. Colin leads on policy development for Participatory Budgeting for Dumfries and Galloway Council. He advises Elected Members, council staff and communities about PB and carries out the evaluation of PB practice to ensure continuous improvement.

This session has been co-authored with Leah Lockhart who works at the intersection of government, technology, community, and design. Her happy places are creating interdisciplinary collaborations and using multimedia documentation as an exchangeable tool that captures knowledge. Underpinning all her work is the desire and drive to elevate the voices of seldom heard people.

What can we make out of public data and gender equality? This presentation by Fife Centre for Equalities highlights findings from applying the EHRC Measurement framework for equality and human rights at the local level. We also discuss ‘messy’ data and Gender Pay gap reporting as an example of data transparency being used as a level for change. Session led by Nina Munday and Elric Honore from the Fife Centre for Equalities.

Clive Gillman works as Director of Creative Industries for Creative Scotland, having previously worked as an artist and also as Director of Dundee Contemporary Arts. In this session we will examine some of the rhetoric around Scotland’s creative industries and use the data available in this area to examine how this sector actually functions and how this data may suggest a slightly different way forward from the popular conception.

Claire Dufour is passionate about people, collaborative working and her adopted city – Dundee! As programmes producer with Creative Dundee, she coordinates events and programmes which bring people together to share inspiration, skills and develop projects which benefit the city. She has recently led a research and consultation, in collaboration with Place Partnership Dundee, called Culture Connects,  in order to find out more about the cultural and creative opportunities across the city. Breaking misconception and collecting data differently, Claire will discuss the process and results of this research.

Alan Russell, CEO of Supporters Direct Scotland, will share insights from his work on using data visualisations to explore Scotland’s football clubs’ approach to supporter engagement and transparency, and to improve visibility of clubs’ ownership. By pulling together publicly available data and using visual presentation media it is possible to make complex information accessible to a broad audience; Alan Russell will share techniques for applying this approach to other data sets.

“There is a need to improve data literacy across all public sector organisations, I believe. And eventually, what the cities want to be able to do is understand the data so that they can understand their city better. If they can do it more effectively, […] they are going to be in a much stronger position for the city as a whole, and for the citizens that live in it.” Steven Revill, Smart Cities Open Data Manager, Scottish Cities Alliance.

Bringing Data to Earth:

Date:  Monday 24 September 2018

Times:  10.00am – 4.00pm

Venue: Unit 6, Vision Building, 20 Greenmarket, Dundee, DD1 4QB

Book tickets:



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