BiDiS – Big Data in Sheffield

The “Big Data in Sheffield” project was a collaboration between the Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield Hallam University, The University of Sheffield and Sheffield City Council, set up by Prof Ann Dalton, Clinical Director of Sheffield Diagnostic Genetics Service.

The project investigated the shared issues among those five “anchor institutions” relating to significant increases in the volume and frequency of data they were having to deal with – i.e. Big Data – and whether they could work together to address them, and ultimately find ways to share and connect data to bring benefit to the citizens of the city. For instance combining genetic diagnostic data from the Chidren’s Hospital’s new high-throughput genome sequencers with demographic and socio-graphic data to identify likely health impacts by city geography.

The programme looked at all aspects of the data lifecycle, from capture and storage, to regulation and standards, to management, cleaning, analysis, visualisation and dissemination.

The programme culminated in an Actionable Data Workshop in the autumn of 2016, which identified a set of recommendations in 3 key areas:

  • Integrated Health Data Sets
    i.e. making visible what is available and how they can link together
  • Building a Data Culture
    i.e. building capacity and reducing fear of data both within anchor institutions and externally.
  • Giving the Public Access
    i.e. helping people understand and access what data is held about them by local institutions.

I was the lead consultant on this programme.