Local Area Research and Intelligence Association (LARIA) is currently holding its second Local Area Research Fortnight which runs until the 22nd April 2016 to raise the profile of local area research.
The fortnight aims to get not only LARIA members but a whole range of public and private sector organisations and bodies talking about the value of local area research. Participants are encouraged to organise events or publish materials that will help the public, politicians, employees and the media understand the impact of local area research.
Supporters will also be blogging and Tweeting during this week and LARIA will be posting regular updates and Tweets using #LARIA2016. Last year there were 1,138 #LARIA2015 tweets from 312 contributors with a combined reach of 3.1m raising awareness of local area research and its significance far and wide. It is hoped that 2016 will be bigger and better.
The two weeks of awareness-raising activities and events will culminate in the LARIA Annual Conference and the Research Impact Awards. The LARIA Research Impact Awards are the only awards specifically designed to showcase the work of those researching local areas and the real difference they make to the people they serve.
Cambridgeshire Insight http://www.instantatlas.com/Cambridgeshire-Insight-Open-Data.html, a data portal using visualisation analysis tools to provide local information, is just one example of research groups’ determination to present a wide range of data in an easy to understand format. To achieve this Cambridgeshire Insight created several interactive atlases combining local and national open data using InstantAtlas software, one of which was commended in the Best use of Community Safety or Policing Research category at the 2015 LARIA Awards. Cambridgeshire Insight received the honour for its Cambridgeshire Atlas: Victim and Offender Pyramids http://atlas.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/Crime/atlas.html.
The atlas is helping to ensure local service delivery is evidence-led by providing a breakdown of victim and offenders for each district, by age group and gender in Cambridgeshire. Comparisons can be made between different age groups between districts and within the County by adding comparator lines to the pyramid. Its open data approach allows users to see the profiles of victimisation and offending by district.
This year, both InstantAtlas and Cambridge Insight will be among 30 organisations supporting Local Area Research Fortnight to raise awareness of how research, presentation of data and its analysis can add value across a broad range of sectors including local government, health, police, fire and rescue services, housing and education.