Conwy County Borough Council serves a total resident population of 111,800, 80 per cent of whom are settled along the coastal strip in the larger towns of Abergele, Colwyn Bay and Llandudno.
Mark Bowler is Principal Research Officer at the Borough Council and explains that when he joined in 2008 they had a website to provide information for council staff including: business managers; analysts involved in strategic planning and managers who were responsible for delivering development plans. The areas it covered included the 2001 Census, deprivation and economic development.
The website gave access to a series of spreadsheets containing local data by theme but Mark is the first to admit it wasn’t well structured. “It wasn’t easy to find what you wanted,” he says. “We realised we needed a new approach and this was not just about presentation but about the way that the data was being collected and updated.”
“I visited the LARIA annual conference where I came across InstantAtlas. Afterwards I attended a number of Welsh Government meetings where projects using InstantAtlas were being discussed so we decided to start using it,” says Mark.