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Past event: Building scalable Data solutions - the importance of getting the foundations right

In the first of our Public Sector Data Webinar series, Transform CDO, Will Lowe, was in conversation with Alix Crabtree (Head of Learner Data Services for Department for Education) and Cyril Law (Director of Technology and Data Engineering at Transform).

Alix shared in significant detail the programme of activity for National Pupil and Award Tables (NPDAAT) that her team was responsible for covering everything from user needs, data management, integrations and data quality management, to matching and steel thread/pathfinder and the component based approaches required to deliver a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) for a new service or data solution.

During the discussion, a number of key points were highlighted that data leads in other government departments could take away to help with their own data projects of this scale, including:

  • The importance of getting the foundations right via MVP and steel thread/pathfinder project approach to proof new technology components and ways of working

  • Embrace new technology and its adoption - Alix shared key learnings taken from moving to the cloud, specifically Azure as a platform

  • Understand any constraints and justifications you have to overcome to make live data operations successful. Keep learning and adapting. It doesn’t stop with delivery.

  • How important it is to understand the user needs and delivery functions for the new service. Get users on board at the beginning of the project - in this example DfE analysts/statisticians, users of digital services and policy makers, schools and colleges

If you were unable to join us for the session but would like to watch the recording, drop us a line at and we'll send you the link.

Our next session takes place (again via Zoom webinar) on Tuesday July 5th at 10am. You can register today via this link:

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