With the release of One Analytics, our new data analysis and reporting product, on the horizon, I have been investigating how local authorities use open data to add depth and breadth to their analysis. As part of this work I was invited to speak at the Open Data Institute’s Connect event where I took part in a panel discussion on the value of open data.
Discussion was wide and varied, with representatives from engineering, transport, environmental agencies, demographic research and local government in attendance. Top of the agenda was understanding the value that could be gained from open data, and practical steps for getting started.
Within local authorities the use of open data is already part of day-to-day life, with Department for Education and Ofsted statistics datasets being used to benchmark service performance against statistical neighbours. In addition, many local authorities use deprivation indices and Office of National Statistics data to add depth to their analyses, for example to understand correlations between deprivation and absence rates. The heat map functionality which will be available within One Analytics will really bring this type of analysis to life, allowing locality based information to be visualised in an intuitive and engaging manner. I look forward to sharing examples of this with you in our upcoming Software Update Sessions.
Although use of open data is widespread, analysing it alongside your operational data is not always easy. This is something we are looking to improve within One Analytics, making the process of incorporating open data sets into your One data quicker and simpler. We will be initially prioritising a small number of data sets for inclusion in this manner and are seeking your feedback as to which ones to focus our attention on. If you have any comments on this, please use the comment box below or drop me an email at email@example.com.
The Open Data Institute event also highlighted some of the best practice going on within local authorities, with the Local Government Association discussing their work with local authorities to standardise the data relating to planning applications. This project was undertaken in association with the Open Data Institute, and seemed to be of wide interest to attendees.
If you’re interested in learning more about the use of Open Data, the Open Data Institute has a range of resources on their website and regular events.
To find out more about how One Analytics will facilitate the analysis of local authority data, please visit our web page.