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  • Anna Bartlett-Avery, Welsh Government
  • Alison Saunders, Food Standards Agency (FSA)
  • David Williams, Transport for Wales (TfW)
  • Dyfed Huws, Public Health Wales (PHW)
  • Gareth Thomas, Welsh Government
  • Glyn Jones (Chair), Welsh Government
  • Helen Wilkinson, Natural Resources Wales (NRW)
  • Lisa Trigg, Social Care Wales
  • Rhiannon Caunt, Welsh Government
  • Roger Whitaker, Professor, Cardiff University
  • Sam Hall, Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA)
  • Simon Renault, Centre for Digital Public Services (CDPS)
  • Tom Anderson, Qualifications Wales
  • Vince Devine, Welsh Government

Presenters / observers

  • Rebecca Cook, Digital Health and Care Wales (DHCW)
  • Ifan Evans, Welsh Government
  • Adam Al-Nuaimi, Welsh Revenue Authority (WRA)
  • Richard Palmer, Data Cymru
  • John Morris, Welsh Government


  • Iain Bell, Public Health Wales (PHW)

1. Introductions, minutes of the last meeting and actions

Glyn Jones welcomed members to the 2nd meeting of the Wales Data Leaders Network.

In January 2022, the minutes of the first meeting were published on the Welsh Government website. The attendees agreed that the minutes were a true and accurate record of the meeting.

All of the actions from the last meeting were completed.

Glyn Jones asked the attendees for their permission to include their names alongside their organisation’s name in the published minutes and to include images from the meetings in tweets. Members agreed to these proposals.

2. Data strategies

Health and Care Digital and Data Strategy - Ifan Evans (Welsh Government)

Ifan Evans (Director - Technology, Digital & Transformation) gave a presentation on the progress of the development of the Health and Care Digital and Data Strategy.

The Health and Care Digital and Data Strategy will build upon and replace the current digital strategy that was published in 2016. The new strategy will reflect the rapid advances in digital technology since 2016 and the lessons learnt during the COVID-19 pandemic. It will also align with the Welsh Government’s Digital Strategy for Wales, the establishment of Digital Health and Care Wales and the National Data Resource.

The scope of the new strategy is wide ranging and covers subjects such:

  • Interoperability
  • Open Source software and coding
  • The move to a cloud based IT infrastructure and architecture
  • Assessments of existing digital products, systems and solutions
  • Workforce development and succession planning
  • Liaison with industry
  • Data ownership and care records

The research phase of the programme is ending and the next phase will be consultation with stakeholders. The current timetable to complete the development work is April 2022.

National Data Resource - Data Strategy - Rebecca Cook (Digital Health and Care Wales (DHCW))

The National Data Resource (NDR) is a strategic 10-year programme established in 2018, as part of the overarching Digital Architecture Review. The ambition of the strategy is to deliver a more joined up approach to health and care data across Wales.

In 2021, a strategic review of the project was initiated, which was undertaken in partnership with Gartner. The review included working with stakeholders to gather requirements and to identify their expectations of what the NDR should be. Alongside requirements gathering, Gartner also identified areas of existing good practice including information governance and legislation. There was also a requirement to align the NDR Data Strategy with other strategies, frameworks and programmes.

The review has now been completed and the full report is undergoing an internal assessment before publication. The report has 5 components:

  1. An assessment of progress and emerging themes 
  2. The NDR vision and strategic goals
  3. The NDR target operating model
  4. The NDR conceptual and logical [IT] architecture
  5. The Strategic Roadmap

Adam Al-Nuaimi (WRA) asked whether the NDR was designed for analytics only or would it support operational work as well and whether a single user ID would be used. Rebecca Cook replied that it will support both analytical and operational requirements and that a range of user IDs would be used.

Helen Wilkinson said that large projects often struggle to identify and evidence ‘value’ in terms of outcomes and it is often difficult to quantify and evidence the true value of data assets. Rebecca Cook replied that they planning to procure ‘value tracking’ software to help generate this information. Glyn Jones reported that the National Data Service (NDS) is investigating ‘outcomes and value’ and that he would share any findings with this network.

Tom Anderson (Qualifications Wales) asked how conflicting requirements would be prioritised and were there any differences between analytical and operational use. Rebecca Cook replied that requirements would be grouped into a series of themes and product lines and these would then be measured against priorities. The complexities associated with analytical and operational use are the same, however, the associated risk tolerances are different and different approaches are required.

Welsh Revenue Authority Update - Adam Al-Nuaimi (Welsh Revenue Authority (WRA))

Adam Al-Nuaimi explained that WRA align their work with the Welsh Government Digital and Data Strategies.

The organisation is undertaking a 12 week discovery programme to investigate the potential to establish a platform, where tax data and other financial data is linked to an individual property. A service would then be provided, to enable citizens and organisations to access financial information such as Council Tax rates and rates for property transactions etc. from a single source. The potential use service would be wide ranging, from accessing information during the purchasing of an individual property, through to providing data and statistics used to inform the development and implementation of local, regional and national housing policy and programmes.

The project is still in the early discovery phase, but WRA recognise that developing such a system will be challenging and will involve significant input from stakeholders.

Glyn Jones thanked all of the contributors for their presentations and asked members to consider all of the points raised, especially how individual data strategies can be aligned.

Helen Wilkinson (Natural Resources Wales) mentioned that NRW have knowledge, data and geospatial strategies and will be reviewing these in the context of new UK data strategies and WG Digital strategy. Helen agreed to discuss some of them at future meetings.

3. Data communities – update - Richard Palmer (Data Cymru)

Data Cymru have only received a small number of responses to the joint blog inviting people to become involved with Data Communities, however, a considerable amount of interest was generated during a series of data themed webinars that they delivered. The webinars covered 3 themes:

  • Data visualisation
  • Data accessibility
  • Power BI within an organisation

Data Cymru will be establishing a network of strategic data leads in local authorities.

Simon Renault (Centre for Digital Public Services) suggested that the communities should look to widen their scope to include those with an interest in data (i.e. Communities of Interest) as well as data experts (i.e. Communities of Practice). Simon Renault and Richard Palmer agreed to discuss this further.

There was a consensus that a Power BI/Data visualisation community would be beneficial. Rebecca Cook also mentioned an advanced analytics group and agreed to speak to Richard Palmer regarding this.

Helen Wilkinson suggested that a list of the current data groups is compiled so that there is no duplication when establishing new data communities. Helen also suggested members consider establishing a Wales chapter as part of the Data Management Association (DAMA).

Rhiannon Caunt asked members to share details of any existing data groups/communities that they are aware of so that she can pass the details on to Simon Renault and Richard Palmer.

Adam Al-Nuaimi asked that all communities and groups should be open and that systems that required user credentials should be avoided.

4. Data Nation Accelerator (DNA) – update - Professor Roger Whitaker (Cardiff University)

The Data Nation Accelerator is a pan-Wales initiative led by Universities in Wales that is designed to accelerate the use of data, data science and AI to deliver societal, health and economic impacts.

Key areas of the DNA are:

  • Strategic relationships
  • Skills and the workforce
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Empowering citizens
  • Enhancing sustainability
  • Product and service innovation
  • Unlocking data

Initiatives are delivered via ‘Sprint projects’, which are innovative joint ventures between Higher Education and the public and private sectors.

The DNA Consortium are arranging a programme of events across Wales during 2022. Professor Whitaker will provide further details once they are available.

5. StatsWales3 – potential opportunities - John Morris (Welsh Government)

StatsWales is a Welsh Government online service that allows users to view, manipulate, create and download tables from Welsh data that has an API. The current (2nd) iteration of StatsWales is over 10 years old and Welsh Government has embarked upon a discovery programme to capture the requirements for a Version 3. One consideration is to use the service model employed by DataMapWales, which hosts both Welsh Government geospatial data and geospatial data from third party partners, allowing them to upload their own data for their own and public use.

John Morris asked members to inform their networks about the StatsWales3 project and invite them to contact him in order to discuss:

  • Any requirements that they may have
  • Whether they are interested in publishing their data via this new service

6. Date of next meeting

The next meeting will be arranged for Tuesday 24 May 2022.

7. Any other business

Glyn Jones attends meetings of the UK Chief Data Officers Council. An agenda item at the forthcoming meeting is ‘Data Roles in the Digital, Data and Technology Framework’. Members were asked to contact Glyn Jones if they wish to contribute to the discussion.

Rhiannon Caunt asked members to suggest agenda items for future meetings.

8. Summary of actions

No. Action Owner
2.1 At a future meeting, Helen Wilkinson to share information about the development of NRW environmental data strategies, including any contextual relationships to other data strategies. Helen Wilkinson
2.2 Discussion on establishing and publicising data communities more widely. Simon Renault and Richard Palmer
2.3 Rebecca Cook to speak to Richard Palmer about the advanced analytics group in relation to establishing data communities. Rebecca Cook
2.4 Group members to send information regarding existing data groups/communities to Rhiannon Caunt. Group members
2.5 Rhiannon Caunt to look into the purpose of DAMA chapters and how they operate. Rhiannon Caunt
2.6 Group members to disseminate information about the StatsWales3 development to their networks. Group members
2.7 Professor Roger Whittaker to provide details on DNA events programme when available. Professor Roger Whittaker
2.8 Send future agenda items to Rhiannon Caunt. Group members