Monthly Archives: February 2017

Human rights for parents

Sunday night homework panic for the boy.

Not arguing this time that its clearly my responsibility. 

We all know that he only does maths homework and the rest is up to us. 

This time its a photograph competition for human rights. The teachers know we are a liberal family so we get lesbian and gay rights. ‘Have you got any ideas?’ we ask the boy – ‘why would I?’ Back to the Xbox for another 5 hours in the flow. ‘By the way – make it good – I want to win’.

Father makes an executive decision (as always)  13 year old girl and friend will pose as lesbians on an LGBT march. He’s artistically challenged but cracks on with the banner regardless.

All done but 13 years olds rebel and refuse point blank to pose – even with bribery and begging.

Son finally comes up with something: ‘why don’t we do child abuse instead and you pretend to hit me with a belt?’ (Tempting).

Time is running out. Should I email the street and ask if one of the neighbours will pose as a lesbian with me? But how to word it? Don’t want another camping incident. 

Whatsapp Sharon. She says put ‘Woman  urgently needed for lesbian role play. Children involved’. Can I trust her after last time though? 

Have a moment of inspiration. Maybe if I find those blond hair extensions I used for my OBE friend’s TOWIE party, and a lampstand that would work? 

Job done! 

Watch this space to see if he wins.

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How to use LinkedIn to shake up your Groupthink

One way of using LinkedIn is to connect up with people on LinkedIn that you already know in your ‘real world’ life – your ‘club’. At the same time as desperately seeking to link with ‘influential’ people higher up the food  chain.
That way you can be sure that everything you read has been pre-filtered by like minded people, and you are not likely to need to discriminate between the LinkedIn equivalent of fake news as opposed to the trusted sources or uour highly esteemed club.

of your club. You only hear what you want to hear. 

Instead of thinking of your network being there for you to exploit, think of it as a way to give other people new career breaks and support.

The best new ideas and insights do notcome  from the establishment but outside.

Link to people who aren’t like you. From other countries, different genders, ages, ethnicities. Offer up your links and your networks to people you met in the park, or dog walking. 

For example, how many men can say that 50% of their linked in network is women? Why not? I often check when looking at conference speakers or companies todo business with, how diverse their network is on LinkedIn.

It’s the virtual equivalent of going to a part and instead of talking to just your best mates, talk to the person in the room whi is the least like you. I guarantee you will learn something. 

Tools for matching and linking people data

Can you help? Those of you that know me will be aware that my technical specialism is master data management.

At Camden Council, and more recently Nesta, I have had lots of requests to explain how Camden went about implementing its Residents Index.

This is the silo-busting demographic indexing solution which enables service improvement, counter fraud savings and early intervention.

It’s my view that all councils would benefit from such a tool. I’m looking at ways of trying to make the technology and methodology for implementing such a solution quick, simple, cheap and rapidly deployable across local government. 

In the next month I’m putting together a how-to guide which will cover:

  • The business case and return on investment 
  • How to engage with information owners, and data analysts to get the data
  • The information sharing and privacy issues
  • The data structure
  • The specification and selection of tools
  • The in-house skills needed
  • The evaluation process

I would be so grateful if you can also help me by telling me what tools you are using.

I am looking for tools that are: 

  • Probabilistic matching technologies that automate data matching of demographic / people information between multiple line of business systems to produce an index.
  • This is not about CRM systems with case data.


  • In- built role based security configuration tools, and restrictions on different data views


  • Have an in-built user interface for front line staff.


  • Intuitive  – minimal internal expertise / staff support costs / training 


  • Preferably open source


  • I’ll include other proprietary tools but if so I need ball park whole contract costs per average Local Authority in bands: e.g. 0-£25k, £25k-£150k, £150k-£300k, £300k+. 
  • Linking people data across systems in real time or at least in overnight batches.

The solutions need to available on premise or securely in the cloud.  If they are in the cloud – the supplier would need to be willing to take security liability for personal data.

Whilst I will consider approaches from salespeople I am really interested in suggestions from colleagues across any sector that have used the tools in practice. 

I’m also looking for people to review the draft ‘how to’ sections so that it can be as relevant, practical and useful as possible.

I want you to be able to fill in the templates, present it to your Chief Executive, then crack on and implement it in 3 months as we did in Camden.