So What Exactly Do LGSL, LGNL, IPSV and the Rest Relate To?!

During a recent Twitter exchange with @paulgeraghty, I finally got round to trying to make sense of (for myself, at least) the following acronyms:

  • LGSL (Local Government Service List) – a list of codes that escribe the various service functions operated by a local council
  • LGNL (Local Government Navigation List) – a list of “human friendly” terms, keyed using the same numerical idenitifers used by the LGSL, that provide phrases appropriate for use as navigation text in local gov websites. (as I tweeted: “so LGNL are ui/human friendly terms to use against LGSL codes?”)
  • IPSV (Integrated Public Sector Vocabulary) – a great big index of vocabulary terms to describe all manner of government related functions. Paul gave a good example of one way of using this list – a search of IPSV for the term coach turns up coach companies as well as sports coaching. Clicking through on the sports coaching definition link allows us to then pull up a mapping of this term that identifies the corresponding LGSL code, as well IPSV categorised broader terms and related terms.

Looking at the full list of standards on the esd site, I also noticed the Need List, that “[i]dentifies the requirements of a citizen that can be fulfilled within the bounds of public sector service delivery whereby a course of action might support a positive change in circumstances”, and the (Issues and) Benefits List, “a list of issues or potential benefits which might be addressed (issues) or delivered (benefits) for/to an individual, organisation or community as the result of activity undertaken by a public sector organisation. Benefits (or resolution of issues) may result from activities such as a project or business improvement programme.”

When pondering the sorts of things we might be able to achieve through opening up data sets, I wonder if a consideration of items on the Benefits List might be one way of helping focus attention on the kind of benefit that local councils might value; (and if you need a metric to track performance against then there’s always the Metric Type List). Positioning a proposed open data idea within the context of a Business Circumstance might also help the business case, although such a mapping might also be constraining and act as a brake on innovation operating across traditionally recognised business areas?

I did wonder whether there was a mapping between data burden items (e.g. as listed by the DCLG single data list) and LGSL or IPSV codes, or maybe even Metric List identifiers, but I couldn’t spot any such mappings offhand…?

I’m also not sure of what formal relations, if any, there are between LGSL or IPSV codes and Benefits, Needs, and Metrics, or between Benefits and Needs, Benefits and Metrics or Needs and Metrics? (Maybe mappings would be too constraining? Correlations might be evident though, or probabilistic relations?)

So what else is there…? In terms of profiling people, imagine what sort of a profile you could build around a person if you started to collected evidence associated with different Personal Circumstances, and maybe also threw in a bit of Life Event mapping, maybe trying correlate these to needs and needs meeting services?

From a linkage point of view, I was also interested to see that the Power and Duty List links to the legislation (from that presumably confers and defines those powers and duties (linkage is also provided between powers and duties and LGSL codes).

Hmm.. so maybe not quite so simple as I thought… but aren’t vocabularies wonderful?!;-)

PS A lens I haven’t really applied in this post is the one that distinguishes between the transparency and economic benefit goals of open data, as for example mentioned in the Local Gov Information Unit post on Is the deluge of data good for government?.