Initially I thought that with a couple of weekends effort this would be done. Little did I know what I was letting myself in for.

I started by building a database of public data files, and used Excel to make some dashboard views. I added some basic filtering options and liked what I'd done. After only a few days it broke, as the dashboard file had become too large for Excel to cope, and it corrupted to a point beyond repair. I had only made four metrics.

For the next version I switched to Power BI. This held a lot of potential and is still my go-to software for building prototypes. However after connecting a few data sets and building some visualisations it was clear that whilst brilliant, it was going to fall short of my vision.

So that was it.

If I wanted to have the tool I believed would take NHS analysis and performance monitoring to a whole new level, I would have to plunge into the world of "real" computer programming. The work to build a simple, agile, robust tool for NHS public data began. Evenings and weekends were no longer mine, becoming time for trial and error learning and full immersion into this new world. At times I felt like I was living a hybrid of the films "The Social Network" and "A Beautiful Mind".

After much longer than I'd hoped, version one eventually turned into version 1001, and finally into the service that Public View is launching to the world.

It has been a difficult road, and there have been so many set backs I could fill several "how not to" books. However at each stage I felt great excitement about new insights revealed by each development. I could see the potential this has to transform the way Public Data can influence change inside the NHS. With this, we can make our services more effective and better for patients.