Newsletter, June 2016

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Hi there,

We'd love to hear from any authorities that have been doing more with open data, so please do get in touch. And don't forget, you can always find @LGInform and @LGInformPlus on Twitter.


Want to upload custom metrics to LG Inform Plus?

Following an engaging workshop with over 50 users from local authorities across England, we are very excited to be getting underway with our Local Metrics Upload Pilot.

Starting in July, we shall be working with a group of authorities to pilot how we receive, upload and integrate your locally collected metrics with the existing online database of national measures. The lessons learnt from this pilot will guide our subsequent development of a robust, routine local metrics upload capability in LG Inform Plus.

If you would like to be involved in this pilot, please take a look at the proposed approach and get in touch to join the pilot.


Latest updates to report writer 

We're always keen to hear how we can improve the tools, and have been working on a few suggestions we have received. After passing through testing, we released the changes towards the start of the month, which you should now be able to observe in the report writer. Improvements included

  • tightening up search results,
  • making wording on pages more meaningful,
  • adjustments to make the things easier to use, and
  • several tweaks to report breakdowns for complex areas.

Found something that needs fixing or improving? Let us know.


Local benchmarking in LG Inform

The Q4 report has now been loaded in to LG Inform and can be accessed by signed-in users. We are collecting data on eight metrics and last quarter 121 authorities provided data. If you are not sure if your authority takes part, you can check the list, and we're keen to hear from any authorities who'd like to join the club. Data collection will start on 14 July for Q1 2016. If you would like to take part time please get in touch.

If you would like to suggest new metrics for local collection or to vote on those that others have suggested, please visit the LG Inform Khub group.


Devon CC produces performance framework, using our direct data feed

You may not know it, but all the data you view and access through LG Inform and LG Inform Plus can be used with other tools too. The direct data feed can be used to show authority data wherever appropriate, and Devon CC have used it to build a performance dashboard to support operational, strategic and community-focused decisions.

To find out more about Devon's new platform, read the case study (PDF), and get in touch if you'd like to discuss using the API to power tools at your authority.


Headline reports in LG Inform

Due to feedback from users, we have been making some changes to the headline reports. These can now be viewed as a bar chart or in the original dashboard format. You can access the headline report for your area from the front page of LG Inform, below the dials or through the search page. You can toggle between bar chart and dashboard views using the link in the first section of the report. These reports give a general overview of the area with metrics relevant for the authority type.
If you like the format of this report but want to change the metrics, you can make your own version easily. You simply need to sign into LG Inform, find the report you like, save a copy, then edit it to show metrics you are interested in.


Adult social care in your area

LG Inform Plus features two reports on adult social care in your area, accessible to all subscribed users. The first report has been designed to provide additional context to local authorities on factors which are relevant to adult social care, drawing together relevant and available small area data, including data such as life expectancy, access to services, main language spoken and health deprivation.

The second report includes metrics related to personal care and support services, and also lists those services relative to the legal powers & duties of a local authority. Both of these are best viewed at ward-level.


Training and events

The last in the series of LGA & ODI's open data learning modules will take place on 6 July. This two hour webinar will focus on the value of open data and making the case to senior managers. It will demonstrate benefits and examples where open data have been used to engage locally, foster economic growth and transform and innovate services. For details on how to book and links to view all previous webinars, please click the link above.