A data manifesto for Good Things

At Good Things Foundation we collect, analyse and use a lot of different data. Some are our own sets arising from the surveys we administer or through organisations signing up to our Network(s). Other data sets come from elsewhere, such as the Office of National Statistics or other open data sources. We also combine data to tell the story of what we do.

These data are used by of our staff in lots of ways. Often, the data in our external communications are repurposed by different organisations too.

So, how can we ensure a consistent approach to the way(s) in which this happens? And how can we communicate our principles for using data in a way that makes sense to everyone irrespective of their data expertise?

As a starting point for answering these questions, we’ve come up with seven fledgling, aspirational principles. These have been mapped against the wider team principles that we’ve adopted within the Design and Research Team at Good Things Foundation.

This is our Data Manifesto
(or, a list of ideas).

One: Be open

We share what we collect, inside and out. And we support others to do the same.

Two: Be impact-focused

We prioritise data collection and analysis that demonstrate our core outcome set and help us to learn

Three: Be ethical

We all understand data protection and we only collect what we need to

Four: Be visual

We understand that everyone engages with data differently and we strive to cater for this

Five: Be receptive

We are happy to have our assumptions challenged and to change course

Six: Be informed

We understand where our data come from (and whether they’re up to date) when we communicate them

Seven: Be joined up

We recognise that others may have the data already, inside Good Things and out

They will develop. And we know there are other standards to consider too.




This is a collection of thoughts, insights and examples from people using different types of data (open or otherwise), their analysis and visualisations to understand / describe / predict / solve social challenges. We are an open group of collaborators. Contributions are welcome.

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Tom French

Tom French

Freelancer. Data and insight strategy through open working. Always social purpose and having conversations. Founded Sheffield Data for Good and Data for Action.

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