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  • Alison Saunders, Food Standards Agency (FSA)
  • David Ford, Professor, ADRW Wales / SAIL
  • Gareth Thomas, Welsh Government
  • Glyn Jones (Chair), Welsh Government
  • Helen Wilkinson, Natural Resources Wales (NRW)
  • Iain Bell, Public Health Wales (PHW)
  • John Morris, Welsh Government
  • Lisa Trigg, Social Care Wales
  • Rebecca Cook, Digital Health and Care Wales (DHCW)
  • Rhiannon Caunt, Welsh Government
  • Rhiannon Lawson, Centre for Digital Public Services (CDPS)
  • Richard Palmer, Data Cymru

Presenters / observers

  • David Nicholson, Welsh Government
  • Owen Davies, Social Care Wales
  • Sam Villis, Social Finance


  • Adam Al-Nuaimi, Welsh Revenue Authority (WRA)
  • Anna Bartlett-Avery, Welsh Government
  • David Williams, Transport for Wales (TfW)
  • Roger Whitaker, Professor, Cardiff University
  • Sam Hall, Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA)
  • Tom Anderson, Qualifications Wales
  • Vince Devine, Welsh Government

1. Introduction and note of last meeting

Helen Wilkinson noted a small number of minor amendments to the record of the meeting and will send the amended text for inclusion in an updated note.

The possibility of the Geospatial Commission being involved in the network was discussed. Welsh Government regularly liaise with them on a range of matters; however, it was agreed that they should be invited to the meeting which will focus on geospatial data.

Richard Palmer updated the group on data communities. Data Unit are drafting a page for their website, which will go live in the next few weeks. This will signpost people to newly formed data communities as well as existing ones, some of which may be facilitated by other organisations. Rhiannon Lawson will also look to promote via the CDPS website.

Group members identified the following areas where there is an interest in joining or establishing a data community:

  • Power BI / Data visualisation
  • Open Data
  • Data Science and 
  • Advanced Analytics

It was mentioned that whilst there is already a UK-wide Community of Interest for data Science, there could be a benefit for establishing a community in Wales accessible to those who are new to this area. John Morris agreed to discuss this further with Richard Palmer.

Rhiannon Caunt looked into DAMA chapters; however, it was unclear what benefits and how resource intensive it would be to set up a Wales chapter. It was suggested that a DAMA representative be invited to a future meeting.

A link to sign up to Data Nation Accelerator (DNA) events was shared with group member during the course of the meeting.

2. E-Procurement and open contracting

The head of commercial procurement at Welsh Government, Dave Nicholson, provided the group with an overview of the Procurement Digital Action Plan 2021-2024. Explaining that the aim of the digital roadmap is to provide the following benefits:

  • Improve and modernise core e-procurement systems so that systems are used across the entire procurement process
  • Improve the way that procurement data is collected, shared and used across government, in an Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS) compliant format.
  • Embed policy, social value and environmental priorities into procurement, through better guidance and data capture.

A key aspect of this work is about on being transparent, with the implementation and use of the Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS) helping achieve this.

A question was asked about whether NHS and Shared Services have been involved in discussion around this work and how they can participate. Dave explained that there is a user group that meets every 2 months which has NHS representatives.

Dave asked attendees to help progress this agenda by encouraging their local procurement teams to publish their procurement data openly.

3. New portal for social care data in Wales

Lisa Trigg and Owen Davies from Social Care Wales updated the group on a new portal for social care data in Wales and provided a short demonstration.

The new portal was well received by the group, which draws on data from a range of sources. Owen explained that some of the data is currently imported manually but that they are looking to use APIs where possible.

The portal, which is built around Power Platform and Azure, also presents geospatial data visually. Owen explained that due to accessibility issues with maps they’ve incorporated more detailed metadata to help users, as well as enabling them to switch to a more accessible visual.

Attendees agreed that a consistent approach is needed in Wales about the usability and accessibility of maps and other data visualisations.

The new national social care data portal for Wales is now live. Any feedback on the portal would be welcomed.

4. Data analytics skills in social care

Sam Villis and Tom Bermudez from Social Finance provided an overview of a discovery project that they have been working on with Social Care Wales. The aim of the project is to better understand the opportunities and challenges social care organisations in Wales in attracting, recruiting, retaining and developing data analysts and others in data related roles.

Using a survey and follow-up interviews, some of the findings identified include:

  • Lots of good work but lack of strategic leadership
  • Analysts often becoming isolated
  • Lack of focus across organisations on outcomes
  • Need for people to have data skills but also understand social care

Social Care Wales will now progress the following Alpha projects:

  • Training resources library: signposting, hosting and promoting training on data skills
  • Job descriptions: providing a platform for local authorities to access and share data analysis role descriptions
  • Data journeys: developing maps showing data flows within local authorities
  • Data communities of practice: providing informal online spaces for conversation and problem solving

The report will be published on the Social Care Wales website in August.

5. Date of next meeting

The next meeting will be arranged for 144.00 – 16.00 Friday 11 October 2022.

6. Any other business (AOB)

No AOB items were raised.

7. Summary of actions

No. Action Owner
3.1 Helen Wilkinson to send through amendments to the note of the last meeting to Welsh Government. Helen Wilkinson
3.2 Geospatial Commission to be invited to the next meeting which will focus on geospatial data. Welsh Government
3.3 Members to notify Data Cymru of any existing data communities/groups they are aware of. Group members
3.4 John Morris to discuss with Richard Palmer the possibility of establishing a data science community in Wales for those new to the topic area. John Morris and Richard Palmer
3.5 Members to encourage their local procurement teams to publish procurement data openly. Group members
3.6 Members to provide feedback to Lisa Trigg and Owen Davies on the new national social care data portal for Wales. Group members