Performance rawks!

I thought my head was going to explode today. I’m not the best when faced with statistics. Graphs just look like pretty pictures. I don’t know the difference between the median and the mean. Who better to send to an event about performance indicators.

No, I’m serious. Today statisticians and performance bods from Scotland’s 32 local authorities got together at Cosla’s offices to discuss the new performance reporting process. Also invited were comms people like me so we could have a think about the potential questions journalists might ask us when the figures are published. You could tell who the comms people were at each table – we were the ones who looked like bunny rabbits caught in the headlights. We’re creative with words – we don’t do figures. However, it turns out we were exactly the right people to be there – if we can get all this information into some kind of order that we understand, along with some context, we have at least half a chance of the public and/or journalists understanding it.

I did suggest that we make it all open data and let people do what they want with it but that makes some people nervous apparently. I even suggested handing it all over the The Guardian so they could do some of their lovely infographics for us but I think they thought I was joking.

Anyway I learned some new phrases today, that schools are ‘pupil processing centres’, ‘we are where we are’ and that ‘moving on a forward trajectory’ some of this may be ‘counter factual’. Let’s make sure none of them make it into anything that comes from council comms departments 😉

On MiniMe news she had her first guitar lesson tonight. Chords A and D are nailed, she can tune a guitar and now she’s working on her rock stance. She’ll move onto her rock face later but what’s really excited her is that her teacher Roy has left her with a beautiful, shiny black 7/8 size electric guitar. His daughter learned on it and if MiniMe sticks at the lessons he’ll sell it to us. But what’s perfect is that it matches her pink and black bedroom. Awesome 0/

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Today I have learned:

  • the difference between the mean and the median
  • sometimes I talk sense and people actually agree with me
  • I wish I’d stuck with learning the guitar (think I lasted a day before my fingers hurt too much!)

Today’s recipe

Chilli bean soup

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Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

a splash of olive oil

2 onions chopped

4 garlic cloves, crushed

2 tsp cumin

pinch of cayenne pepper

1 tbsp paprika

a good squirt of tomato puree

2 tbsp ground coriander

400g can of chopped tomatoes

400g can kidney beans

1 litre veg stock

seasoning

Method: Heat the oil and cook the onion and garlic till soft.

Add everything else, bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes.

Leave to cool slightly, blitz with a blender then reheat if necessary.

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