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People around the portals: future roles

Several of the ideas proposed in the design sprint envisage the creation of new roles around the portal. To support further conversations around these ideas, we’ve sketched outline role descriptions in prototype job specifications.

Published onMar 25, 2022
People around the portals: future roles
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Several of the ideas proposed in the design sprint envisage the creation of new roles around the portal: from data guides, to community managers and data fellows. To support further conversations around these ideas, we’ve sketched outline role descriptions in prototype job specifications, summarised below.

Data Guide

A local point of contact for people seeking to make use of data. Helping them progress onto the next stages of their data journeys. Answering questions, recommending next steps and making connections.

Data Guide - outline job specification

Employer: A library, citizens advice bureau, local authority, civic technology NGO, or private sector business

Hours: Part-time, flexible working


What is this role all about? A local point of contact for people seeking to make use of data. Helping them progress onto the next stages of their data journeys

In this role you will..

You will be someone who is…

  • Be a first local point of contact for people seeking to make use of data

  • Respond to incoming enquiries through email, chat and online meeting, and optionally get involved in face to face outreach activities

  • Follow an initial script to help enquirers articulate their data needs, and to signpost relevant data sources, tools and support

  • Provide follow up support to help enquirers overcome barriers to data access and use

  • Identify and work on opportunities to improve data provision, data literacy, and data use

  • Build networks and stay up to date with data sharing communities

  • Approachable, helpful and able to understand and explain technical issues clearly and concisely

  • Aware of a wide range of data sources and resources, and confident in your own ability to search for, assess and make sense of datasets

  • A capacity builder: with a range of approaches to helping people develop their confidence to use data effectively

  • Proactive - good at identifying and acting on small fixes or systemic changes that could improve the local data ecosystem

  • You might also have skills in data analysis, technology, visualisation or community action


Community Data Representative

A local data champion, working with organisations who need to better understand data as it relates to communities.  Influence the way data is used for collective benefit, and identify opportunities for community-created data to feed into policy making.

Community Manager: Data & Impact - outline job specification

Employer: Local community partnership

Hours: Part-time, flexible working

What is this role all about? Working with local authorities, organisations and groups across the local community to understand and shape data as it relates to your community

In this role you will..

You will be someone who is…

  • Work with organisations who need to better understand data as it relates to your community

  • Influence the way data is used for the benefit of communities, and identify opportunities for community-created data to feed into policy making

  • Help local community organisations to identify their data resource and data needs, working with local Data Guides to build knowledge and capacity

  • Co-design workshops, events, activities and projects that help community organisations to discover, create and use data more effectively

  • Support a network of data champions and leads within community organisations

  • You might spend some of your time embedded with particular organisations

  • A champion of the local community, with professional or personal experience in community organising and advocacy.

  • Confident working with data: from small spreadsheets, to large GIS systems. 

  • Able to communicate effectively with government agencies and staff.

  • Experienced building and sustaining networks.

  • A natural convener and facilitator, able to bring people together and put them at their ease, even when talking about tricky and/or technical topics. 



Data Fellow

Embedded within a data publisher, authority or organisation to represent the community’s voice when implementing data strategy. Supports organisational capacity to create, manage, share and use data to deliver their mission in ways that produce positive community outcomes.

Community Data Fellow - outline job specification

Employer: Local Community Partnership

Hours: 0.5 FTE. 1 year placement

What is this role all about? You will be embedded within a data publisher, local authority or organisation, bringing the community's voice into decisions affecting them. Support organisational capacity to access, create, manage and use data to deliver their mission in ways that produce positive community outcomes.

Previous Engagement managers for the community are encouraged to apply

In this role you will..

You will be someone who is…

  • Represent the interests and perspectives of community data initiatives within an organisation

  • Identify potential additional sources of public data that could feed into their work, and engage with local providers of those data sources.

  • Support improved data collection and management, including the creation or design of new systems

  • Identify data the organisation could potentially publish or support new initiatives, working with the Data Publishers Toolkit to make this available.

  • Develop data skills to take back to the community

  • Ready to use your data knowledge to address local challenges: aware of both the power, and the limitations, or data as a tool of social change. 

  • Understands how small organisations work with data, and how to help them make the best use of data on limited budgets.

  • A good learner and teacher: able to share what you learn with the organisation you are hosted in and with the community.

  • Confident engaging with data publishers - including to ask for improvements to data. 


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