Newsletter, February 2015 No Images?  Click here

Hello there,

There may be an all-pervading chill in the air but there's been plenty of hot topics springing up in local government this winter, especially as we get closer to the May 2015 General Election.

Got a story to tell or think there's anything we've missed? Get in touch.

Demystifying the Transparency Code

Since the Transparency Code was updated last year, we've been hearing stories of how authorities across the country are conforming with the new obligations. For those councils not too familiar with open data publishing there are some tried and tested tips to make it a little less taxing, but  even experienced data wranglers can find it tough from time to time.

That's why we've developed the free-to-use Validator, a tool that helps you check that your datasets are ship-shape. Simply select a schema (a bit like a theme) to validate against, click the checkboxes to validate your fields, and finally click Validate. You'll be told what needs cleaning up and what's missing, so you can get everything in order before publishing your data.

More data stories...

Benchmarking club – deadline for submitting data

Last quarter, 137 councils submitted benchmarking data, which was uploaded into LG Inform and is helping other councils learn about performance across the sector. The deadline for Q3 is fast approaching and you'll need to have everything submitted by 12 February 2015 to have your data loaded and take advantage of benchmarking opportunities.

Authorities can submit data for five metrics but suggestions for new metrics are always welcome. Take a look at the summary report and find all the details you need to upload data.

Sharing reports with colleagues

People have been asking us how they can share LG Inform Plus reports with their colleagues and how best to go about doing it. While sharing PDF and Word versions of reports is easy enough, it's so simple to provide live links too. There's just a couple of boxes you'll need to tick...

  1. Visit the Reports site and sign in.
  2. Find the report you'd like to share in the 'My reports' column.
  3. Click '[edit]' on the report you'd like to share.
  4. Hover your mouse over the title and click the pencil icon to edit.
  5. Look out for the 'This report will be visible to...' drop-down at the bottom of the screen. Change the drop-down option to 'only people in my organisation'.
  6. Click 'Save'.
  7. Click the purple X on the right-hand side of the screen to stop editing the report.
  8. Copy the web address from the browser window, e.g., and share!

Your colleagues will need to be signed in to see the report, and it will appear in the 'Shared reports' column of the Reports site.

Find out how to share an LG Inform report.

Do you use a tablet?

If your answer to that question is in the affirmative, you'll be pleased to hear that a tablet version of LG Inform is in the works, so you can access reports and data on the move. We recently met with a several authorities who provided some ideas on how it could work and we're welcoming any more thoughts and ideas you might have. Please do get in touch and join us on Knowledge Hub.

Free training event for LG Inform Plus

We regularly hold training sessions for anyone wishing to learn more about the toolkit and become familiar with the tools. Not only do we cover basic functionality but you can also find out how other councils use it to improve performance, support channel shift and more.

There's still a few places left on our 2 March event and you'll need to book early to avoid disappointment. Can't make it? Get in touch to arrange a learning day in your area.