Newsletter, May 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.


Learning modules for open data newcomers

The LGA and Open Data Institute have put together three learning modules and are running six webinars to go into these in more detail. For more details and to book your place, please visit the LG Inform Plus website. If you were not able to join the first two webinars, you can still view them here.

2 June – In Focus: Standards and Certificates
Standard structures can make your data more useful and consistent. In this two hour webinar, learn how to find and use common schemas, develop your own schema and certify the quality of your data.

14 June – Introducing the LGA Learning Modules
This two hour webinar will walk participants through all three learning modules (Making Transparency Work, Making Publishing Work and Making Standards Work) and answer questions.

There are two more webinars pencilled in for 22 June and 7 July. Depending on the subjects that most delegates are interested in, we will tailor these last two events accordingly. If you are interested in getting more details when they are released, please email or revisit this page in a few weeks.


Unimplemented planning permissions across the country

This LG Inform report shows snapshot data on unimplemented planning applications by local authority area since 2012. The data, provided by Glenigan, reveals the split between unimplemented planning permissions that are yet to start on site and those that have already started, but are unfinished. See how your area compares with a comparison group of your choice (sign-in required).


Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) data available in LG Inform

The Department for Education has worked with the LG Inform team to add a range of published SEND data into the LG Inform database. The data is drawn from key publications set out in SEN: An Analysis and is intended to support local areas use of data and intelligence to measure progress and success. A list of the new metrics available in LG Inform is here.
Users can benchmark against other areas and combine SEND data with other indicators to create their own reports, working with other local areas to identify issues or trends and to learn from each other.
A tailored report using this SEND data is in preparation and will be available later in the summer. For further information, please contact the support team.


Consultation on data standards

Earlier this year we let you know that we were working on a major review of some of the lists which make up the Local Government Business Model (LGBM). We have now completed the Function list and an Organisation Types list.

The Function list has been updated to reflect the functions currently carried out by local government and their partners. During the review we have added a third level in some places so that there is no function mapped to a large number of services – so hopefully meaning it is easier to find the services you are interested in.

The Organisation Types list is essentially an old list. In the past there was a previous version but this had not been in use for some time. The new Organisation Types list includes all the organisations which work in central and local government together with their partner organisations.

We would very much like to have as much feedback as possible on the content of these lists – either general comments or specific changes (additions, removals, term names) such that we can ensure the final versions are fully fit for purpose and meet the needs of our users and their systems. You can find the lists and comment on them in the Khub consultation thread (sign-in req'd). Thanks in advance!


Digital Exclusion: the latest statistics

Doteveryone (previously known as Go ON UK) has updated the Digital Exclusion Heatmap. Some of the data has been refreshed, making it easier to use and new metrics have been added. This will give a fuller picture of what affects how likely people are to be digitally excluded in the United Kingdom.

When Go ON UK launched the Digital Exclusion Heatmap in October 2015, it reached over 1.8 million people on Twitter and was covered in national media, including the BBC and the Guardian. More importantly, the Digital Exclusion Heatmap has shown people that digital exclusion is still a huge issue in many parts of the UK. It has inspired people to better understand their local areas and do their own research, and is getting local and national government to engage with the issue. That’s why Doteveryone is going to keep supporting the Digital Exclusion Heatmap.

Doteveryone have been working hard on updating and improving the heatmap since it was launched, and its foundations in the LG Inform API have made it possible for us to respond quickly to new data availability and user feedback.


Want to upload custom data and metrics?

Following the popular workshop at Local Government House in February (see notes), the LGA will be running a pilot scheme to collect and publish via LG Inform Plus metrics gathered locally for reporting by councils. We've got 12 spots for councils interested in joining the pilot scheme, and your participation will help form the full local metrics functionality that will be released in the coming months.

Please contact the LG Inform Plus team at to express your interest, and we'll be in touch soon.


Training event