Warrington is located between Liverpool and Manchester and is home to more than 197,800 people who live in around 85,000 households. It was designated a New Town in the 1960s and has grown rapidly over the years. Warrington has one of the biggest gaps between rich and poor in the country with affluent commuter belt areas alongside old industrial areas.
In 2008, the partnership established a Neighbourhood Research and Data Group which started using InstantAtlas to present the data that was being collected from across the partnership.
The council’s GIS & Research Team produced interactive neighbourhood profiles using data provided from key partners including fire & rescue, NHS and the police as well as demographic and economic data from national statistics.
This meant it was able to produce online interactive area profiles which cut down or replaced traditional handouts. The process of getting relevant data to the various audiences became easier and quicker with reports disseminated online.
Neighbourhood profile roadshows
The partnership decided that it should take the interactive reports out into the community to gather feedback on what the reports revealed about individual communities. Five workshops were held during Summer 2009 and the InstantAtlas reports were shown and discussed with all those who attended. Key findings from each report were explained to residents and their views and experiences were taken on board.
This made the process of identifying local issues and setting priorities within a condensed period of time easier. InstantAtlas proved to be a very visual and easy to understand method of communicating complex trends to a wide ranging audience. The results of the workshops went into informing local neighbourhood action plans.
Making the project work
The council’s GIS & Research team working with the InstantAtlas reports found they were getting data from partners in a number of different formats. NHS Warrington also uses InstantAtlas and so its data was easy to work with. However, some of the other data was raw and had to be manipulated in a Geographic Information System before it could be used in the Excel Data Manager.
The team has also overcome the initial challenge of being sent data in different geographies (e.g. ward, postcode level) and the interactive maps have a toggle facility that allows you to view each level individually. The process has provided valuable experience for better data sharing between partners.
It has made the reports available via the Stronger Together website and feedback from key users including the neighbourhood coordinators has been very positive. For more information on Stronger Together please click here (http://www.warrington.gov.uk/Communityandliving/Communityadvice/stronger_together.aspx)
Taking it forward
The partnership has used InstantAtlas to produce interactive electoral ward profiles. These can be viewed here (www.warrington.gov.uk/stronger/contents/ia_reports/atlas/atlas.html). In addition it is using customer insight profiling including ACORN market segmentation data to build a more detailed picture of each community.
This will help the partnership develop a shared understanding of the needs and wants of the customers within Warrington. It will also help identify and tackle difficult and challenging problems such as reducing the inequalities gap within the borough.
– informed the priorities of neighbourhood planning
– the interactive reports have saved time and improved efficiency for the council’s GIS & Research team
– the partnership now has a quick and easy way to present information to the community and its members
– the reports can be updated instantly and are an improvement on paper-based reports
– the reports inform key projects including research into inequalities, customer insight, neighbourhood working
– using InstantAtlas has provided valuable experience for data sharing across the partnership
Colin Wojtowycz, Principal Research Advisor, Warrington Borough Council says: “We are trying to spend less time repackaging data and more time analysing data to gain intelligence to meet our objectives and Instant Atlas has been a big help in this respect. We are now starting to reap the benefits of using InstantAtlas because it gives end users quick and easy access to good quality information upon which to base decisions.”
New InstantAtlas Essentials video released – #7
Video topic –
This video explains how to set the minimum and maximum chart values to prevent the minimum and maximum values of the Y-axis from changing when viewing an indicator with the Time Animation slider. It also shows how to create a custom Legend with user-defined data ranges or breaks. This prevents the Legend values from changing when an indicator is viewed with the Time Animation slider.
Presented by Dorothy of the IA Support Team
Video Transcript for Essentials Video #7
I’m going to tell you today about an InstantAtlas dynamic report function that you might not know about. This function is used through the metadata workbook and it will help you to create a minimum and maximum chart value. You might need this because you might find that the data that you have across years varies so much that in your bar charts your Y axes will start to move around. This is really not ideal. So to demonstrate to you what I mean – in this report I have highlighted a parish in Louisiana – this is our single map demonstration report which you can find on our website. This is Jefferson parish and when I have highlighted this you can see that in the time series chart we have at least 5 years worth of data and this data is the census data for the population per square mile – currently showing us the value for 2000 and for Jefferson that is 698.14 so you can see that thats where this is sitting in the bar chart. You notice in the bar chart we have a Y axes that goes from 0 to 2800. If I click play on our time-series animation to make the map change colours through time we will see automatically that the bar chart Y axes is moving around in terms of its data. So to stop this from happening you need to go into your I-workbook and you can see here at the bottom that I am in the metadata worksheet and we need to start adding in some details here to make InstantAtlas create a minimum and maximum chart value. This is not done automatically by the software this is something that you have to put into to control the software. So the type of element that we need to put into column A is an indicator – you can also do this on theme level if you want to do it on theme level – I am going to show you how to do it on indicator level.
The element which is in column B has to match the indicator name precisely. So, the way to do this so that you can insure that you absolutely got the right name in that box is to simply copy and paste. The metadata element – this is where you tell InstantAtlas what it is exactly that you want to do. I am gonna set the minimum chart value first. So the command is minchartvalue – and the minimum chart value that I want is 0.
So the next line needs to be pretty much exactly the same except this time we need to set the maximum chart value. So again, I gonna simply copy and paste my indicator and Im gonna add the maxchartvalue. This value Im going to put at 3600. Now, with any changes that you make to the software, especially in the workbook, nothing is going to actually update until you export to data.xml and save that file into the report folder location. So we are going to do that now.
I am going to click the IA Export button on my Data Manager – it is going to save the data.xml into this report folder. Because this data already exist – it’s going to warn me that the data is going to be overwritten and I want it to do that so I’m going to click yes. And the Data Manger is going through and cycling through the data and at the end of its cycling it will pick up the metadata that I have affected.
So, lets go back to our report and refresh the browser. If I click play now we should see that this axes does not change. Ok? So there is one other style though that we might want to have to change in this report.
In a similar way we can see that the legend is affected. So, lets just click play again and this time keep your eyes on this legend. You can see that the breaks are changing through time that is because the legend is picking up on the breaks through time that have been set in the workbook. InstantAtlas is actually creating these breaks for you automatically. A lot of people are very happy with this setting and they don’t change it. However, some people want to ensure that – like the axes on the bar chart – that you can also have your breaks be manually controlled.
To do this we need to go back into your metadata worksheet. This time you are going to need to use a number of different functions and I am going to take you through them now.
I am going to fact this on an indicator level – you can also do this on a theme level if you like. I am going to use the same indicator as before: Population per Square Mile. This time I am going to change the metadata element to custombreaks. Custombreaks need to be set to one more number than you want the number of breaks. So in other words, if you want 5 breaks – 5 ranges of data – you need to have at least 6 numbers. That’s because you must set the beginning of the break and the end of the break. So, I’m just going to put in what I will use for this particular legend. So I gonna start at 0 and then I’m going to put in 100, 500, 2000, 3600, 5000. Obviously this breaks can be anything that you want. So you can see here I have got 6 numbers and there are no spaces between this numbers. There are simply semicolons. Now I need the legend to reflect what these breaks look like. So I am going to add in this control through the metadata workbook. This has to say:customlabel. So the labels that I am going to chose are 0-100, 101 – 500, 501 – 2000, 2001 – 3600, 3601 – 5000.
So I am going to export and save this file and refresh the browser. And you see now that I have this custom legend. If I press play – you notice that the custom legend does not move through time.
That’s it. For more tips and hints have a look through our youtube channel. Thanks very much
- Leicestershire Data Visualization | vizLib (lsr-online.org)
- [Sponsor] InstantAtlas (instantatlas.com)