Centro’s use of interactive mapping software and how it has created an evidence base to support spending decisions
Bury Insight is the Bury statistics and maps website which is funded by Bury Council. It is a shared evidence base that provides quick and easy on-line access to data, information, and intelligence about the borough of Bury, and aims to meet the needs of the local community, Team Bury (the local strategic partnership) and the general public.
Team Bury partners, including Bury Council, collect a wide range of data including unemployment, housing and health. The site also uses OCSI data packs which means that in all it compiles around 10,000 individual datasets.
Scott Abotorabi, Improvement Officer at Bury Council, who helped lead the project to develop the Bury Insight, website says: “We previously had a series of static maps, which on their own they lacked context and it wasn’t easy to view trends over time. By presenting the data in a series of interactive reports we felt we could help more people understand the data.”
How the University of Veracruz used data visualisation to help develop the state’s Observatory on Food Security and Nutrition
The University of Veracruz was established in 1944 and is considered the state’s premier institution of higher education. The university now has a presence in five university regions and 28 municipalities. The university works with many national and state-level organisations that are seeking to improve the lives of people living in Veracruz.
The Faculty of Nutrition, Xalapa, which belongs to the Universidad Veracruzana, works in partnership with other agencies and hosts the Centre for Food Security and Nutrition State of Veracruz (OBSAN). The Observatory’s mission is to provide a platform that provides information on food security and nutrition in the State of Veracruz and to contributes to decision-making and policy development.
How Wolverhampton’s Local Information System is driving consistency of data use and helping deliver evidence-based strategic planning
The Corporate Strategy and Improvement Unit at Wolverhampton City Council provides statistics, information, research and intelligence for decision making and is responsible for demographic data held by the council.
Debbie Turner, Policy Officer (Research & Information) in the Unit, says the decision to develop a Local information System (LIS) came from a recognition that data wasn’t being used effectively and that there was a great deal of duplication of effort when it came to local intelligence.
“We were getting a lot of requests for the same information, often from the people working together on the same projects or in the same service while at the same time we knew there was good work going on in pockets across the council and other organisations,” she says. “We also spent a lot of our time co-ordinating data collection from a range of services for people within the council or for partner organisations.”
Debbie says one of their key aims was to improve information management and to ensure that the most up-to-date data, from the right sources was being used. The Unit started to develop a business case for an LIS and created a project group consisting of key strategic partners from across the city. The business case was signed off in September 2010 and the Unit set about a tender process. After assessing three bids InstantAtlas was awarded the contract.
Helping local communities in Trafford represent themselves and highlight their needs using an online interactive data hub
Trafford Council has been an advocate of open data since May 2010 when the council took the decision to create an open data page on its website to allow access to numerous data it collects. This includes: council tax, business rates, location data, such as for schools and leisure centres and election results.
However, it wanted to use the data more effectively to create an intelligence resource. With NESTA funding and support from a steering group which included other Greater Manchester local authorities it embarked on an initiative called DataGM – a platform that would allow data sharing across Greater Manchester.
Alongside its work with DataGM, Trafford also wanted to develop its own data sharing initiative and went out to tender for a solution that would enable it to develop what it saw as a data observatory for Trafford.
East Riding Data Observatory – Supporting the localism agenda in the East Riding of Yorkshire through a data presentation initiative
The East Riding Observatory is an online resource that provides easy access to population, economic, community safety, health and education data for local authorities, partner agencies and communities across the East Riding of Yorkshire. The East Riding Data Observatory is a member of the Humber Data Observatory Group. Other Observatories in this group are: North Lincolnshire Council, North East Lincolnshire and Kingston upon Hull.
Gareth Hughes is senior research officer at the Observatory. He explains that Regional Improvement and Efficiencies Partnership (RIEP) funding was made available and Humber Data Observatory Group members were asked to highlight areas for investment.
IPPR – How a UK think tank is using data presentation turn a project on the needs of older people in London into a useful resource
IPPR, the Institute for Public Policy Research, is the UK’s leading progressive think tank, producing rigorous research and innovative policy ideas. IPPR publishes more than 50 reports each year and it uses its website as a hub for progressive thinking.
One of its recent projects was supported by the City Bridge Trust – a charity that supports charitable activity benefitting Greater London. The project culminated in a report Older Londoners that highlighted the urgent need to tackle social isolation among the oldest members in society. It found that the number of people in London aged over-65 is expected to rise by a third in the next 20 years and those aged over 90, by 95 per cent.
Senior research fellow Kayte Lawton says: “It was a project looking at ageing and growing problems faced by the over-80s. This is a group of people who are often classed with the over-65s but we wanted to differentiate the needs of this older group. They often have greater social care and health needs.”
Poole Partnership | ‘Providing an information resource to help commissioners of childrens’ services address local priorities’
Poole Partnership is the Local Strategic Partnership for Poole. It involves community, voluntary and faith groups, working together with businesses and the public sector. It aims to achieve long-term improvements to the quality of life for people living in Poole.
We spoke to Sara Ireland, Senior Research Officer, about the project. “It originated from work with a children and young people’s dataset that we had been working on for a number of years. We realised we were sitting on a large amount of information and were only able to do a limited amount with it – so we wanted to find a way of getting it into the public domain in a friendly format,” she says.
Image Credit – Jim Linwood
How data presentation is helping the Mexico Data Observatory get local information into the hands of a wide range of individuals
Mexico’s Data Observatory works alongside the local government, organisations representing citizen’s interests and universities. One of its aims is to communicate data in such a way that it can be understood not only by experts but by the whole population. It had previously been using PDFs to present data but decided it needed to investigate other ways of doing this.
Salomon Gonzalez Arellano is Professor Investigator at the Observatory and faculty member of the Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana says that one of the drivers for them was to make the data accessible by a wide range of individuals – even to teenagers needing insight for their homework.
“We felt that we didn’t need a typical map server because that would require a large investment and not everyone would be able to use it,” he says. “We decided to look for another way to communicate our work.”
The Observatory first came across InstantAtlas in 2005 through a design agency that was interested in geographical information systems (GIS). However, it was several years before the Observatory was given funding.