The Data Analytics Digital Service, or DADS, is a digital resource bringing together transactional services to locate and request research data with a collaboration and learning platform where researchers and practitioners can interact and develop a community of practice. It consists of four complimentary web applications; a Data Request Form, a Data Observatory, an Experts and Projects Forum, and a Knowledge Hub.
Collectively, the four web applications within DADS provide a one stop shop that improves the overall experience for both the police and academic researchers. Replacing the current patchwork of data requests made through both formal and informal channels will improve efficiency, bring greater transparency and improve the overall experience for both the police and academic researchers.
Data Request Form
The Data Request Form aims to simplify the process of making a research data request and to use the insight and data generated from the request process as a window to a better understanding of the policing data landscape.
Applicants make their request through a secure and easy to use interface that guides them through the request process. Requests to multiple forces can be handled through the submission of a single form and the applicant dashboard provides helpful information and enables the applicant to track requests through the system.
Within each partner force a Single Point of Contact (SPOC) handles data requests coming through the service. DADS provide SPOCs with tools that allow police forces to action research data requests in a streamlined and efficient way. Analytic tools to facilitate workload management, templated information sharing agreements and intelligence about the requests being submitted to other participating forces help promote a better understanding of the frequency, volume and research topics of data requests being submitted.
The Data Observatory is a searchable register or catalogue of third-party data resources relevant to policing. These resources are not held in the Data Observatory; rather searching the observatory for a topic will return a list of resources with a summary of the content and a link to the third-party resource. Crucially, it will allow users to see across the range of sources (from open source systems, to organisational repositories) making sharable data held within organisations visible to the whole DADS community.
Where there are several gateways to the same data (e.g. census data) ratings and feedback from the community will help guide users to the resource that best meets their needs.
Experts and Projects Forum
The Experts and Projects moderated forum offers a safe space for users to develop and discuss potential collaboration opportunities and projects. Bringing together police forces with a problem, data that needs investigation and academics who wish to undertake research in that field. Research requests can be initiated by either policing or academic partners, with the forum providing a discussion board to advertise the project, scope the feasibility and recruit participants.
The forum will facilitate the development of a ‘data community’ that is it hoped can act as both a support network and a critical friend, allowing users to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding with the help of other data users from outside their organisation and day to day field of work.
The Knowledge Hub will serves as a repository for learning resources relating to data analytics, this can be methods, software tools, code snippets, training materials and handbooks, links to online courses and more. It will also provide a list of upcoming events, either being offered by organisations within the DADS partnership or external events that may be relevant to users.
The hub will also host course materials for the Empowering Data Specialists in Policing CPD programme, providing outlines of upcoming sessions and associated module resources.
The Data Analytics project team are based at the University of Leeds, if you would like more information about the strand please contact Fiona McLaughlin in the project office. If you want to know more about the areas of research expertise for members of the project team, please use Find An Expert or use the links below:
Professor David Allen, Leeds University Business School
Dr Nick Malleson, School of Geography