The potential of data-based research products.

After reading Ian Mulvany’s blog on the STM Research Data Workshop in 2019, it has taken me a little while to come up with a way of designing products geared around data! I revisited my thought process on meeting a Data Analyst at the R2R Conference and writing a blog on Research Video, including a suggested Business Model Canvas. It’s fair to say that many research publishers feel challenged by the idea of producing data-specific products, so I’m not the only publishing professional facing this dilemma. Sage Data have a great range of data sources and break the views down to Subject and Geography, it just feels like we have a long way to go, way beyond simple data visualisation.

The most obvious areas for development in my head are in providing tools that enable the data to be sliced and diced, extracted and exported, and transformed into real-life decision making outputs. I started to break these down into tools for Analysis, Mapping, Projection, and Real-Life Calculation, with a mindmap (a brief screenshot is shown at the top of this page). Having attended the Liberal Democrats Conference the other weekend, one of the areas I am particularly interested in is how these tools could be applied in politics. There’s a model to help define policy ideas called PESTLE (Political, Economical, Sociological, Technology, Legal, Environment). It helps break down the key focus for any governmental decision making and enables a more structured form of brainstorming as a result. My initial train of thought for Mapping in the area of Economic policy is below:

We could then combine the breakdown of Economic or other relevant data with practical decisions likely to be taken in an organisation. If so we might end up with the Use Cases sketched out below (where a Use Case is WHAT data might be used for and WHY):

Knowing that the UKSG Conference is running in Glasgow in a few weeks, I hoped these images may spark some discussion (though I’m not attending). Please do feel free to contact me if you’re interested in developing these initial ideas. Meanwhile, I’ll carry on thinking about the real-life applications and plan to continue with new ideas for publishing and politics. They’re a surprisingly compatible combination of sectors to work on!

If you would like to see the overall mindmap as it develops, I would be happy to collaborate. I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards, Ruth Wells


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