Creating a single hub for key Northamptonshire data in an easily accessible format using graphs, maps and tables

Hertfordshire’s Profiling Approach. We’re here! (Part 2 of a series)

In our last article, we introduced you to our approach of using Profiling as our core data delivery tool, its reception and usage by our users.  In this installment we share what it takes to keep our 700+ datasets in shape, the projects we are working on and the team behind it all.

Instant Atlas is at the core of our Team.  Due to various service rationalisations, we have been gathered centrally with approximately half the team still funded and working for those services, making them subject ‘specialists’…

Read the full article here

Ensuring local information systems give strategic planners high-level insight and at the same time avoid information overload.

local information systems with instantatlas

The text included in this article is a transcript from our recent TalkLIS webcast interview with Tim Healey of Coventry City Council and Jamie Whyte of Trafford Council with Julian Tyndale Biscoe of InstantAtlas. You can also hear this interview by selecting the soundcloud player below.


Hello, and welcome to the fifth in our series of talk LIS interviews. My name is Julian Tyndale-Biscoe. Today I’m joined by Jamie Whyte, data innovation specialist at Trafford Council and Tim Healey, corporate research officer in the Coventry Insight Team at Coventry City Council.

I wondered if I could ask, Tim, you first actually, if you could tell me a little bit about the project that you’ve been working on, your LIS project and what the challenges you faced when you developed the system?


Read the full transcript
or listen to the interview below

May round-up of InstantAtlas stories

Welcome to the latest edition of the InstantAtlas blog news – our monthly round-up of projects where InstantAtlas software solutions are used to map and present statistics in interactive dynamic reports and profiles.

In this edition we review two case studies from Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council and Warwickshire County Council a forthcoming live webinar from the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, plus we introduce a new offering from InstantAtlas called the ‘Report Creation Service’.

Tailored to your needs – The InstantAtlas Report Creation Service

We make no apology for the fact that everyone working for InstantAtlas is excited about what they do – whether it is developing software that helps you to present data in an interactive easy-to-understand way, or helping you get the most from InstantAtlas. So when someone asks us for advice, or help with a project we get a real buzz. With that in mind we thought it would be helpful to explain exactly what we can do for you – especially when you find yourself short on time, resource and budget so you know where to come.

What does InstantAtlas Report Creation Service offer?

The InstantAtlas support team provides a service for anyone who needs a helping hand with report creation with InstantAtlas Desktop. This includes:

  • Map data preparation
  • Dynamic report publishing
  • Report design and branding
  • Preparation and loading of statistical data
  • Performance tweaks
  • Report deployment

Pierre, Head InstantAtlas Support, says: “We can help support with any aspect of report production with InstantAtlas Desktop. Whether it’s filling gaps in a multi-faceted project, or providing report creation throughout from start to finish, we have the experience to help make it a success.”

Learn more

Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council

‘Using map presentation software to ensure services are delivered in the most effective way at Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council’ 

Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council covers nine towns situated between Manchester and the Peak District. The council places great emphasis on partnership and has a culture of working closely with local organisations.

The council is part of the Tameside Strategic Partnership which brings together a diverse set of partners from the public, private, voluntary and community sectors to agree key aims, objectives and priorities for Tameside. The partnership includes the police, health service, Tameside College and Greater Manchester Probation Trust. To help the partnership get a better understanding of local needs, a Partnership Information Portal has been developed.

Getting started

Jody Stewart, Principal Policy Officer, Corporate Performance and Improvement at the council says that for many years it produced a publication called Quality of Life which included selected statistics about the borough. “The challenge was that by the time it was published the statistics were out of date,” says Jody. “So we decided to move towards an online data observatory that would allow people to access up-to-date information on a variety of topics and track this data over time.”


Read the full article

Warwickshire County Council

‘Creating dynamic online reports for needs assessment at Warwickshire County Council’

Warwickshire Observatory is the home for information and intelligence about Warwickshire and its people. Its aim is to be a centre of excellence in research, data collection and analysis to support evidence-based policy-making across the public sector in Warwickshire.

The observatory undertakes work for, and in partnership with, a wide range of customers across the county council and other partner organisations. Paul Larcombe is Corporate GIS Manager and he explains that although the observatory has used GIS software in the past, it has only recently developed a local information system (LIS).

“We found that we were getting more queries from the public and it was taking time to find answers so we decided that an LIS would help people find the answers themselves,” he says.

Getting started

The team looked at a range of suppliers but decided to go with interactive map building software from InstantAtas which was bought in tandem with Coventry City Council. A successful funding bid meant the team was able to start building the LIS and this also covered the purchase of OCSI data packs.

“The LIS is a still a work in progress but the focus to date has been on desktop dynamic reports and we have a range of live content supporting the JSNA (Joint Strategic Needs Assessment),” says Paul.

Read the full article

Forthcoming North American Public Health Webinar with Charles J. Utermohle, PhD

Our latest North American public health webinar in June will be presented by Charlies J. Utermohle, Data Analyst, Division of Public Health, Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. Charles works in the Section of Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion within the Alaska Division of Public Health. His responsibilities include statistical analysis of the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System for adults and the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System for middle and high school students.

Webinar Topic
‘Automating InstantAtlas production using Access Data Manager’

In the webinar Charles will discuss how the InstantAtlas Access Data Manager can be used to prepare large datasets using the example of the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS).

Charles’ presentation will focus how Access Data Manager can be used with any dataset where there are too many variables to be efficiently handled in the Excel Data Manager.

Learn more about this webinar

InstantAtlas Essentials #26

‘Changing Visibility of Components Depending on Indicator Selection in HTML reports’

In this video we describe how to change the visibility of components on an indicator basis for HTML reports. This video compliments our Support document ‘How to Change the Visibility of Components Depending on Indicator Selection in InstantAtlas Reports’ which can be found in the Desktop Support area of My InstantAtlas.

YouTube version

InstantAtlas dedicated streaming server version

Providing the insight to help decision-makers target resources more effectively with West Yorkshire’s regional Data Observatory


The Yorkshire and Humber Data Observatory Programme consists of several initiatives each providing either tools or processes to collect, store and analyse data. This insight is used by local government officers, the general public and other stakeholders to improve understanding and decision making either within an authority or across authorities throughout the Yorkshire and Humber region. The West Yorkshire Observatory – a ‘one-stop-shop’ website for information and intelligence about West Yorkshire – is one of these initiatives.

Funding was initially made available through the Regional Improvement and Efficiency Partnership (RIEP) and the Programme was part of a wider Regional Observatory programme including South Yorkshire and North Yorkshire. The project included a review of existing Observatories and the technologies they used to deliver the project. Following a review, it was agreed that a solution based on the Humber Observatory technology would be the most appropriate.

Getting started

A  cross-organisational officer working party was set up to develop the project which was designed to replace the five existing and independent systems run by Bradford; Calderdale; Kirklees; Leeds and Wakefield. In some cases these systems had been in place for many years and were based on differing legacy technologies. Most of these systems consisted of online tools that had become unsupported, or were out-of-date and the cost for replacing them was considered too high.

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Friday InstantAtlas link of the day – John Patterson (Blackpool Council)'s new blog and IA User Conference 2012 (Rochdale)!

Friday has started out on an amazing high for me. Not only do we have sugar donuts (courtesy of our lovely Sales team) but we have this awesome unsolicited blog post from blogger John Patterson (Blackpool Council).

Did you present at the conference? If so, head over there quick!

Did you go to the conference? If so, you might be in one or two of his pictures.

Do you want to know what happened at the conference? What are you waiting for – go go go! (I’ll wait right here while you do.)

Now that you’ve read his post, did you wish you went the conference? If so, that makes two of us. That’s right, this friendly neighbourhood Support team member was supposed to present after @frenchpeter. And unfortunately, I was very ill that weekend and could not make it. I can only wonder what @Jonopatterson would have made of my presentation….


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.

Read the full article