worcestershire local information systemInstantAtlas_Free_Trial_Download

Delivering effective and resource-efficient local intelligence


Worcestershire County Council has used geographical information systems for about 20 years. The Council has had a web-based GIS presence since 2001. It became clear there was major opportunity to develop this further as a way to present the results of the 2001 census. After the council elections in 2005, the council wanted a simple way to give the new councillors better intelligence about the wards they served. The council’s Research and Intelligence Unit was tasked with bring together information from, various departments to generate electoral division profiles. The objective was to enable the council members to have access to a wide range of information about the area they represent to use in their role. The unit’s remit includes research advice, the provision of intelligence about residents’ views and clients’ needs and the management of performance linked to corporate and partnership strategies including community safety. The Unit also provides research and intelligence services related to population, housing, the economy and the environment and an informative service relating to economic matters: this work is fundamental to most strategic planning and economicregeneration activities.

Starting point

The unit was introduced to Geowise and InstantAtlas through council partners who had used the software. David Onions, Corporate Business Intelligence and Performance Manager, says: “InstantAtlas was relatively cheap to purchase and gave us the ability to do what we wanted without having to involve specialist IT teams.” There were a couple of weeks of intensive work to load the relevant data but the bigger challenge came from managing the data from other sources.

Meeting the need

The Research Unit uses InstantAtlas to develop electoral profiles but these are also being linked to CRM and customer segmentation data. A good example of this was a project to link in customer service data in relation to highways. This makes it possible to profile the requests for services from the Highways department. InstantAtlas has also been used to present crime and housing data across the west Midlands. In addition the unit has worked with the Childrens Services team and the public health team to present useful intelligence that can be used for Joint Strategic Needs Assessment.

WISDOM local strategic partnership site

Making the project work

Having seen the benefits of InstantAtlas Desktop, the Research Unit decided to move to InstantAtlas Server. This means that rather than having to rely on partners for data feeds, the partners will be able to update the data themselves. This means that the unit has to put fewer resources into ensuring data is timely. With legacy systems in place, the project to link customer service data in relation to highways will needed a long-term and costly fix. However, InstantAtlas Server enabled this particular project to move ahead alongside any more involved system changes.

worcestershire local information system

Key benefits

  • InstantAtlas Server enables partners to update their data themselves
  • The Research and Intelligence Unit can use it’s resources more effectively, rather than having to spend time loading data from partners
  • Many datasets can be combined to present information in a meaningful and easy-to understand way

Other InstantAtlas local authority stories and reports that will interest you

Rochdale Borough Council - Empowering local communities to make better decisions

Cumbria Intelligence Observatory - Bringing consistency to statutory assessment through online data visualisation

Coventry City Council - ‘Developing a centralised information hub that gives LSP partners the intelligence they need’

Wolverhampton in Profile - How Wolverhampton’s Local Information System is driving consistency of data use and helping deliver evidence-based strategic planning

Trafford Council - Helping local communities in Trafford represent themselves and highlight their needs using an online interactive data hub - Watch Trafford's IAUC 2012 presentation

Staffordshire Data Observatory - Giving local strategic partners the data they need to make commissioning decisions in a customisable format

Liverpool PCT - How Liverpool PCT is using data presentation to improve access to its Joint Strategic Needs Assessment

Greater Merseyside Connexions Partnership - How data presentation is helping Connexions get a better understanding of hotspots for youth unemployment and training needs

For all the latest updates follow us on Follow InstantAtlas on Twitter


Video Tutorials (hosted on YouTube)

InstantAtlas Essentials Training Playlist

InstantAtlas Desktop Tools Playlist

InstantAtlas Dynamic Reports Playlist

InstantAtlas Server Playlist

News and Articles


Arizona Department of Health Services | ‘Making data presentation meaningful when dealing with low rates of population density’


The Institute for Health Policy, School of Public Health, University of Texas | ‘Making data available to the community through easy-to-use data presentation tools’

Public Health Organization

Public Health Organization – ”Using data presentation to aid the policy-making process”