Peter Higgs: Business data commons: addressing the information needs of creative businesses

Project investigating creative industries, to support better funding. 8% survey responses, so data quality from survey is not good. Recoursing to secondary data, like censuses. No data available about what is happening in business life cycles, or how they change across time; poor granularity. Surveys don't work in general; can't aggregate readily.

Alternative? Build trust, manage identity & confidentiality; crucially, provide benefits to the business for the service, and to the business gateways. Collection must be with open consent; upsell data back to the survey subjects (can provide them more data, and articulate benefits). Ended up escalating information gathering.

Need pseudo-anonymity; can't have anonymity, since are feeding the data back to the survey subjects (delta data gathering). Use OpenID to do pseudo-anonymity. Do not reask questions already gathered. Benefit to business is personalised benchmark report: customised to each recipient.

This appears to be a good strategy for collecting embarrassing data like hospital performance; emphasise that this is benchmarking, so can improve your own performance over time, given the data you have made available to the survey.

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