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How important is it that people are up-skilled in understanding data and data analytic techniques?
Do you think people have the necessary skills to use the data? I think the skills are very siloed. So I think that certain people within the organisations maybe have a little bit of skill. Data science is not spread throughout any organisation, and isn’t across the health sector as well. So there’s definitely a huge potential to really upskill people in the potential of what data science can do for them and support them in their everyday jobs. So I think there’s more work to be done in that space.
So at the moment when we say people are thinking about health and care workers, for example, we might be saying that the nurse of the future may actually have to help someone and understand how they can consent to share data. So that’s very different from our current thought process around use of IT. So here’s a device and you need to know how to configure it, and charge it, and things like that. So a lot of concepts about how you actually help people share data. The workforce is going to have to get a little better helping with them. Do you think data is being used effectively in the sector just now?
I think there are pockets of good examples where data is being used. I think there’s still a challenge in getting it rolled out in a much wider and a better-structured way. I don’t think, in terms of the data, it’s like building a big battleship very full of data that is kind of floating around. I think there are much cleverer ways of doing it.

Most organisations are now very rich when it comes to data but not necessarily rich when it comes to the time or training to use the data. In these interviews we hear from leading data experts on where there is need to improve skills.

Simon Tricker from UrbanTide talks about pockets of skilled professionals but that these skills are often siloed and not used across organisations. Chaloner Chute from the Digital Health and Care Innovation Centre outlines the concept of “Nurses of the Future” where health and care practitioners will be as skilled in using data and understanding it as anyone else.

And finally James Cameron from Highlands and Islands Enterprise mentions the need to enable the development of skills in the sector through supporting SMEs and start up organisations and thus benefit from their innovation.

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The Power of Data in Health and Social Care

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