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Five more tips from strategy

Five more tips from our strategy

In his second blog, Rushil Ranchod identifies five more things we learnt from our strategy consultation.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post about Smart Data Resarch UK’s recent strategy engagement exercise and pulled out five things we took from it which have informed our final strategy and the shape of the programme. 

Here, I will explore five more things we learnt from that consultation and some of the things we’re doing in response to it.  

1. The importance of capacity development, training and skills

A recurring theme in our engagement activities is that we must invest in capacity development, skills and training.   

Smart Data Research UK will be using its flexible funding to support a range of training and development opportunities. These will enhance capability for smart data use in interdisciplinary social science research within and beyond academia. We will encourage training and development across all career stages to generate capacity and widen the research base for smart data.     

2. Strong and effective partnerships  

We know that good partnerships will be critical for delivering our programme. Partnership-building is a core part of Smart Data Research UK’s work. We have been cultivating relationships and partnerships with stakeholders in the economic, social, political and environmental sectors.  

Our team has also been building a relationship with the public. This year we will embark on a public dialogue in partnership with Sciencewise. This will help us establish how people feel about smart data research and define the principles of our engagement with the public over the next few years.   

Smart Data Research UK recognises the extensive partnership development activities that exist within our stakeholder community. We welcome an ongoing dialogue on how we may further support and develop these activities.  

 3. Equality + diversity + inclusion = sustainability  

We welcome the positive response to our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion. These principles are embedded in the programme.  Our approach to EDI will be critical in supporting the growth and sustainability of the smart data research community.  

A key strategic ambition of ours is to ensure that the public is included in what we do and has an opportunity to shape the smart data research landscape. As well as the dialogue mentioned above, we have joined initiatives such as the Public Engagement Data Research Initiative (PEDRI) to ensure convergence in approaches and good practice across the research data landscape.  

4. Let’s talk up the benefits of smart data 

If we are to develop knowledge and understanding of the power of smart data research, we must communicate and engage with people. We believe that building such knowledge and understanding is key to generating trust in smart data, and to allay ethical concerns about its use in research. It will also help us to build communities to support and advocate for the power of smart data to drive research for public good.   

Our communications team are developing a portfolio of activities and engagements, which will grow our understanding of the value of smart data. The first of these was the recent special smart data-focused event as part of the Institute for Government’s ‘Data Bites’ series. 

 5. Engagement. Engagement. Engagement  

There is immense expertise and experience within the smart data research community and brilliant people out there who could help us shape and deliver our programme.  

Over the coming months, we’ll provide opportunities for further engagement and interaction. But in the meantime, we would encourage you to get in touch with us to engage further with the programme: smartdataresearch@ukri.org 

Rushil Ranchod is Senior Manager: Strategy and Partnerships at Smart Data Research UK

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