Full House!

When I walked in to the South West regional group meeting at Civica’s Bristol offices on 28 March, I was rather nervous as it was to be my first meeting as Chair of the group (I’ve lurked in the background for many years now!).  I was shocked at the amount of people who were crammed into the room – surely the most I have seen at the SW group for a long long time! 

I am pretty sure I wasn’t the attraction – maybe it was the lovely Civica facility in the centre of Bristol, the promise of news and ideas regarding IQ, or something else on the agenda, but it was fabulous to see so many faces, old, new and somewhere in between.   In the current climate where many of us struggle to get out for these events, the sight of a full room was very welcome.

With IQ and the Civica update a very important part of the agenda, the group put forward many useful suggestions which I am sure Nick et al will be taking on board, and there was some very interesting discussion around the table.

I must thank Chris Higgins for letting me use her presentation on Data Quality and Cleansing (I don’t think I mashed it up too badly Chris!), which is a very pertinent subject in view of the potential for migrating to IQ in the future, and also fits in with the new General Data Protection Regulations which I gave a precis of later.  The GDPR may have quite an effect on us as APP administrators and users and whilst some of us have a vague knowledge of something happening, we really need to ensure our organisations have a handle on things as early as possible.  I hope my presentation (https://appusergroup-beta.squarespace.com/s/8627070235897987814.pptx) wasn’t too boring (or uninformed!) and would like to thank everyone for putting up with me giving two presentations in one day! Also big thanks to Ken for looking after me all day!

Breakout sessions and discussion over lunch gave us all the opportunity to share ideas, questions and solutions, which is what we as a User Group are all about – Users Supporting Users.  If your authority has not yet renewed their membership, please let those with the purse strings know about the benefits – we have a unique relationship with Civica whilst remaining independent, and the sharing of the huge amount of knowledge amongst members is absolutely priceless! 

I look forward to our next gathering – dates are not yet agreed but will appear on the website as soon as they are.

Kevin Davies
SW Chair