The Silicon Valley effect

September 27, 2019

A contentious phrase?

When I become nervous, I start quipping – and I was very nervous recently presenting at VoxCon Scotland in front of all those professionals and VIPs. While we fought with the PowerPoint presentation to show off our latest (and frankly amazing) data-analysis tool I quipped something like:

This is that disruptive Silicon Valley stuff I love.

A contentious phrase, but what did I mean by it? If you’re reading this blog then you’re familiar with the Silicon Valley effect; companies using the processing potential of powerful new digital technologies to undercut, automate, and essentially dominate in commercial spaces. Amazon is doing to Tesco what Tesco did to your town’s greengrocer. Same thing with Cannon v Kodak, or Spotify v Sony Music. Netflix means stealing leftover letters from the boarded-up Blockbuster on the end of your street.

It’s a tale as old as weaving mills. Those who fail to embrace new technology will always be left behind – which was the point I ended my presentation on.

Young people are being heard and listened to

I’ve worked here half a year now. Long enough to know that Mind Of My Own’s apps were never intended to be data-harvesting tools. They are first and foremost designed as communication tools to make sure young people are being heard and listened to. That’s who our apps are for! That’s why we’re committed to coproduction! But the nature of digital communication technology means we’re generating a lot of data, and when Local Authorities have statements rolling in by their thousands they have the potential to use that data to paint some very detailed pictures about what’s going on with their services.

It’s in the data

Want a big broad overview of how young people are feeling in general? Check the data.
Want to know who’s been feeling sad or scared? That’s in the data.
Want to dig down and find out how young people in a specific age bracket feel about schools/colleges in your area? Data.

The Scottish parliament committed to collecting over 1,000 voices as part of a root and branch review of the Scottish care system over two years. Since our first Scottish customer joined us in 2017 Mind Of My Own’s apps have been a conduit for over 1,500 Scottish statements, and that number is growing and accelerating. We are firm believers that data serves little purpose unless it informs practice. Mind Of My Own data is the evidence you need to transform practice and build resilient services.

A children’s services nervous system

What started as a simple system to keep individual workers updated is evolving organically into a children’s services nervous system. Organisations that used to think in paper and ink are now accessing rich local data in real time that enables them to shape their services based upon the intelligence gathered. Mind Of My Own data reflects the real thoughts of real young people collected in real time. Data that can revolutionise decision making, whether at an individual, service or corporate level.

If you think inspection results demonstrate inconsistency between agencies now, just wait till you see how technological early adopters who can feel how their services are performing and adjust course as necessary compare to laggards who have not thought further than a survey or a feedback tool.

We are happy to be disruptive like the ‘Silicon Valley stuff’ especially when we can help real change to happen that supports children to have a voice.

Posted by Cameron Forester find out about him here