The end of the beginning: Data Unions are go!

The final blog of the Data Research Fellow program

So it’s been a year already and what an amazing year!

I had no idea at the start of this journey that I would be afforded so many opportunities and benefit so significantly – the effects have been transformative and life changing.

My initial research into data markets has opened up a whole new world which now includes a new start-up and numerous glorious connections that are informing  my process and are a constant source of inspiration.

To finally be able to realise the vision of creating tech with  marginalised people in real focus has been humbling. The fact that we can also realise the start of a movement to democratise technology and data is thrilling.

Over the next five years I  envisage the landscape of the South-West changing rapidly beyond all recognition.

The widespread use of cryptocurrencies and the normalisation of data autonomy and literacy will see the beginnings of a proactive motivated population who are well informed about their choices and act on them.

I would just like to extend the warmest gratitude to the team at the South West Creative Technology Network and the affiliated organisations.

It’s highlighted that organisations like this of critical in transforming people’s lives and the technological landscape of the South-West.

Developing a data union is a challenge. Leading a developing team, learning the mechanics of new technology; looking into the value of data and creating a community is a formidable journey and one which I am extremely pleased to be on.

With this pilot project we will be able to expand, create jobs and to create more products which make peoples lives easier and provide an income stream.

Prototype: Where are we now?

Where we are with the prototype:

We are using an agile methodology which means we are running in 2 week sprints and then review. It’s part of our continuous integration strategy

Tasks completed so far:

  1. UI/UX underway – user personas done, wireframes being created including home screen, signing up screen, dashboard, account balance page, social media selection page and cashing out screen.
  2. Developers creating a basic demo which houses all the basic functions so we can see quite quickly what the product will look and function like
  3. I’ve already utilised Andy wood’s help via session and commenced consultation with the development team
  4. We are assessing what are the valuable items of data and different methods of collection. Most companies have SDK’s we can utilise however the final processes and success will hinge on the effectiveness and connectivity of that data – enhancing the value.
  5. The next steps are refining the User experience and journey and starting to test with basic iteration with the focus group. After that the next iteration will be tested on a group of up to 20 marginalised people with a feedback form and survey
  6. We have already started to make community building inroads and are in discussion with Black Codher and Coding Black females to organise s joint hackathon with the teams building data tech products
  7. In terms of online real estate we have already purchased the Controlr domain name.

I’ve created a web portal (found at to illustrate and inform regarding the findings and connections I’ve made in the process of my research.

Here’s to an even better year!