Warm Data & Camaraderie

We’ve been aiming for a sweet spot, a holy grail even, in building PracticeGround.

The quest to bring practitioners, trainers, researchers, and clinical leaders together in a tightly connected social network united to improve clients’ outcomes.  

In other words, camaraderie and warm data.

Warm data first. Chris Brogan used the phrase “warm data” to mean data that has been transformed into a highly usable format.  For us at PracticeGround the idea is to translate the massive amount of information that comes our way each day into digestible, trustworthy, and actionable bits. As important as it is to have great information or content, it’s caring about the people who will need to use the data and doing what you can to make that data more useful to them that matters most to us.

Which brings us to camaraderie.

Efforts in everything from astrophysics to zoology have found ways for volunteers, ‘citizen scientists’, to make new forms of science possible (e.g., sorting galaxies or discovering planets). Why couldn’t we do this with psychotherapy research?

If it was easy for therapists and clients to measure the process and outcome of therapy as a part of their routine, then these data could guide practice and improve knowledge about what works and why. With a community based on respect and trust, we could rapidly design and carry out practice-based research.  All we learn could be just as rapidly shared back through the network. Rather than a pipeline that carries research to practice or leaping a research-practice gap, we’d have a thriving group of practice-based researchers, professional scientists and volunteers.

Bringing warm data and camaraderie together would be like having data arrive as warm bread, fresh from the oven of our community bakery, where many hands could make light work.

This idea has led to a multi-year development project, Online Progress Tracking, a set of tools that practitioners can use to make Big Warm Data. Our software development team will have the first release ready in early 2014. Our first release is designed to serve outpatient cognitive behavior therapists, DBT therapists and programs, and ACT therapists.

The beta release will be announced through this newsletter to give priority invitations to our near and dear. Would you like an invitation to the beta release? Just sign-up here or email me directly at kelly@ebpi.org.