Mamow Ahyamowen has been working on the three overarching analyses (chronic diseases, mental health & addictions, and injuries). In anticipation of the data visualization work, Support Staff thought it would be best to use software to create reports and visualize the data effectively and efficiently. To do this, Staff decided to use a specific data visualization software called Power Bi. However, it’s one thing to know about the software, and it’s another to be able to use it well.
The Alliance enlisted Joe Travers from Travers Data to learn more about Power Bi. Joe provided fun, informative workshops to 19 people, including Staff and anyone interested from communities and organizations served by the Alliance. Rather than using generic data for the workshops, Joe used data from the mortality analysis to make the workshop more meaningful.
Generally, any time Support Staff discusses the mortality data, be it a presentation or workshop, they always take a moment to honour the people behind the data. Since the Power BI training was no different, they followed this same practice at the beginning of each session. This was something that Joe appreciated, and he dedicated a blog post to this very topic. In Joe’s words:
Put the People in your data First.
…People are important to me. They are the most important part of data. They make decisions with data. Use data to move along a process or project. They ARE the data… Before I even started working with [Mamow Ahyamowen], I attended a virtual session where they presented some health data (specifically mortality data), but before launching into all the numbers of deaths and co-morbidities and how their mortality data compares with province-wide data, they paused.
They paused to reflect on the nature of the data, who the data was about, and what it meant to all of them. When I asked them about it, staff shared that this practice was inspired by teachings from Elders and Knowledge Keepers who have been involved in their work.
More organizations (and the “data world” as a whole) need to do this. Data is not just data. It’s lived experiences, ancestors and history.
Chi-miigwech – miikwech – ᒥᑫᐧᐨ – many thanks to Joe for working with the Alliance and sharing his knowledge and expertise with the group.