data visualization tools and public health statistics

Modules | Benefits | How it Works | Requirements | Demo | Purchase

InstantAtlas Server

InstantAtlas Server is a set of 'off-the-shelf' software modules for building robust Data Observatories, Local Information Systems, Community Information Systems, and Area Profiling applications at a fraction of the cost of custom solutions.

InstantAtlas Server extends the capabilities of InstantAtlas stand-alone dynamic and profile reports enabling 'live' data delivery from Microsoft and Oracle databases. It provides a rich set of web-based administration tools allowing content to be managed by a central team or federated to multiple teams across an organisation and its partners. It’s modular structure means you can tailor a solution to your needs, at a price you can afford and then add additional functionality as your needs evolve.

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Server Benefits

Rapid delivery from an out-of-the-box solution

If you have a set of indicators available, perhaps across multiple spreadsheets, and a suitable technical platform, then implementing an IA Server solution with a number of key outputs is achievable in days. We recommend a phased approach where customers publish a limited number of outputs that can grow over time. If a technical platform is not immediately available we can host the solution on behalf of customers for short or longer periods.

Improve the process of loading and managing data

If you find managing lots of spreadsheets is becoming problematic then IA Server helps improve your administration and data management processes by providing a tool for loading, storing and managing indicators in a central database. This means that you can manage large numbers of indicators either now or in the future.

Share the effort of loading and managing data

If you find that the co-ordination of sharing data in spreadsheets with colleagues in different locations is taking a lot of time then IA Server helps improve your data sharing process by providing data loading and administration tools that are accessible to anyone with access to the Internet. Trusted 'Content Administrators' can collate and load their own data through controlled processes that ensure it is validated before going live.

Deliver custom outputs to meet different audience types

The IA Server Administration Console means you can create exactly the right sort of outputs to meet different user needs. You have complete flexibility to mix and match indicator data. You can immediately meet the two 'typical user types' by (1) delivering dynamic reports to users wanting to explore the data themselves and (2) tables for users who want to create custom sets of indicators and download them for specific analyses.

data visualization tools and public health statistics

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How it works

View a live InstantAtlas Server demonstration application.

1. Load and manage data »

  1. Use the Excel Data Manager to compile and structure data and metadata and create XML files. This free Excel tool can be used by any organisation to create data XML files to load into IA Server.
  2. Import data XML files and manage all content through the web-based Administration Console. This provides a powerful set of tools for data staging and live promotion, structuring data into Themes and defining Data Views comprising specific sets of Indicators required by your users.
  3. Alternatively, using our Administration Console, connect your IA Server database to one or more third party applications to pull data in either via 'live links' or scheduled copies.  This is ideal where you need to take regular refreshes of data from third party sources.

If you already have an application that holds this type of data then it is likely that we can migrate this data into our database structure without any significant manual data processing work.

2. Create tailored outputs »

Use the Administration Console to:

  1. Create a suitable Theme based hierarchy for presenting your data.
  2. Build your outputs as Profiles and Data Views.
  3. Add documents and links as Resources.
  4. Apply your own user group permissions to your outputs (if you have the User Management Module)

3. Publish your outputs »

IA Server provides multiple options for making your data, metadata and other resources available depending on your audience, their requirements and their skills.  Access to these outputs can be carefully controlled through rights granted to user groups.

  1. Profiles: these are ready-built reports available for one area or multiple areas.  They are highly flexible and can combine maps, charts, tables, text, images, metadata and content from third party web services.  These elements are structured into Sections that can be used in multiple profile reports.
  2. Data Views: They have two primary functions: they allow expert users to quickly and easily view data available and download it for use offline; and they provide a more exploratory environment for users to interact with the data and gain a better understanding of it.  There are two primary interfaces: (a) Tables where users can build custom tables of any indicators in the Data View and then download the data; and (b) InstantAtlas dynamic reports to visualize and explore the data interactively.
  3. Advanced Data Views: This functionality offers users greater flexibility to create custom outputs that meet their needs.  Users can mix and match any combination of indicators, available at a one geographic level, in the system and tabulate the result.  You can then chart, map or filter the results.
  4. Resources: This allows you to upload relevant documents and URL links to the site with associated metadata so they can be searched effectively by end-users.
  5. Metadata: The Explorer Module allows you to search all metadata (Documents and Data) to locate any resources of interest.

4. Customise and re-brand your site »

There are many options for customisation of our end-user pages.  If you are using our user interface for delivery of the solution you can quickly re-brand these pages to suit your corporate style.  Often our pages are embedded into a separate web site.  If you are using your own user interface then you can create relevant links, potentially using your own web Content Management System (CMS), to all pre-defined outputs like Data Views and Profiles.

5. Add additional Modules »

If you did not purchase all the available IA Server Modules up-front then you have the options to add others as your needs evolve.  The modular nature of the IA Server solution enables you to build up the functionality of your solution in stages over time as user requirements evolve. See Features for information on all our Modules.

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Administration Console

The Administration Console is a secure website that gives administrators distributed across different organisations and/or geographic locations access to the functions required to manage an InstantAtlas Server system. These functions cover all key areas such as data loading and organisation, report building and system auditing. The console has been designed to be simple-to-use and to scale for large data volumes. Features include the following:

  • Administrator roles – restrict access to functions on a per administrator basis
  • Data ownership – lock data to prevent viewing or accidental deletion by other administrators
  • Data loading wizards – load statistical data using simple wizards
  • Manage geographies – define lookups between geographies to enable filtering and aggregation
  • Manage themes – create a multi-level theme hierarchy for navigating your indicators and reports
  • Build reports – use flexible tools for creating data views and profiles
  • Staging area – preview newly-loaded data in this area before making it live
  • Aggregation engine – aggregate statistical data from one geography to others to save data loading effort
  • Calculated indicators – calculate ratios from existing indicators
  • Archiving – archive and restore indicators as required
  • Data refresh management – retrieve a list of datasets that need updating
  • Data notifications – send out mass notifications to users when reports are updated
  • Search tool – save time when locating specific items that need editing
  • Usage reports – monitor how end users interface with the system
  • System reports – monitor data volumes and identify inconsistencies
  • Indexing – optimise system performance using indexing settings
  • Customisation – customise what end users see using simple-to-use options

data views module

Data Views Module

Data Views are logical groups of indicators defined by administrators that are delivered as a collection to address the needs and tasks of specific users. They are organised into Themes and can be viewed as InstantAtlas dynamic reports or tables. The Data Views module adds a wizard to the Administration Console for designing and building Data Views and for managing the InstantAtlas dynamic reports that are used to view them.

The Data Views user interface includes:

  • Different tabs for listing Data Views (by Theme, by geography, as a simple list or as the result of a search)
  • InstantAtlas dynamic reports (Single Map, Double Map, Area Profile, etc) for exploring and disseminating data interactively using Flash
  • Web accessible tables with flexible display options, sorting and export to Excel, CSV and XML options
  • Metadata pages that display indicator and geography metadata

Watch video overview

advanced data views module

Advanced Data Views

The Advanced Data Views module offers greater flexibility for users wishing to create more personalised Data Views.

The Advanced Data Views user interface includes:

  • A wizard that leads users through the steps for choosing the geographies of interest (using an interactive map, geographic filter or pick list), the indicators required and the comparators to include
  • Initial view of data is as a table
  • Option to chart one or more indicators
  • Option to display the data using an InstantAtlas dynamic report
  • Options to download as Excel, CSV or XML
  • Option to email a link to a colleague so that they can view the same Data View

Watch video overview

profiles module

Profiles Module

This module provides a powerful set of tools to design and deliver highly effective reports containing a mix of appropriate information relating to a specific area or number of areas. You can also use it to profile point based features such as 'hospitals'.  The Profiles module adds functionality to the Administration Console for administrators to:

  • Create tables, intelligent text, charts and images (maps, photographs etc)
  • Ability to choose from many standard and advanced configuration/display options for tables and charts
  • Specify style sheets that will transform the look and feel of your profiles
  • Create multi-geography sections - tables/charts will display data for related areas as well as the area selected
  • Incorporate ESRI ArcGIS Server based maps into profile reports

The Profiles user interface includes:

  • Different tabs for listing Profiles (by Theme, by geography, as a simple list or as the result of a search)
  • Drop down menus for selecting the geography type and area of interest
  • PDF button
  • Quick Profile box on the home page allows users to enter an area name (e.g. their postcode) and generate a Profile with one click

Watch video overview

advanced profiles module

Advanced Profiles

The Advanced Profiles Module offers greater flexibility for users wishing to create more personalised Profiles.

The Advanced Profiles Module user interface includes:

  • Map-based selection of multiple areas using an interactive map.
  • Geographic filters for making quick selections of areas
  • Aggregated or disaggregated data in tables/charts.
  • User-defined comparators

Watch video overview

explorer module


The Explorer Module allows users to explore the contents of the system. The Explorer module also adds functionality to the Administration Console to allow administrators to upload external resources (e.g. PDFs, Excel workbooks, images, web links) that can then be explored alongside IA Server data outputs.

The Explorer user interface includes:

  • Keyword or free text search - this searches any keywords/descriptive metadata entered by administrators
  • Intelligent search tool supports wildcards
  • Results of search presented under different tabs (Data Views, Profiles, Indicators, Resources)
  • Results consist of links to the items themselves and to their descriptive metadata

Metadata is based on international Dublin Core standards. Metadata fields can be fully customised by administrators based on the standard they wish to adhere to.

Watch video overview

user managment module

User Management

The User Management module is for organisations that wish to implement a login for their users (either mandatory or optional). This is usually to restrict access to sensitive data or to improve the personalisation of content to specific user groups.

  • Ability for administrators to create users groups and set data permissions at different levels for each group
  • Ability for administrators to make modules available/unavailable on a user group basis
  • Registration page for users, with automatic notification of administrators when a user registers
  • Login box for users (with a forgotten password link)
  • Ability for users to save items as Favourites - these will be available next time they login

server publisher module

Server Publisher

The Server Publisher Module enhances the administration of multiple dynamic reports, improves background mapping and enables user-defined choice of geography in dynamic reports.

  • It allows you to consolidate the management of all your geographic datasets, for example area boundaries or contextual point-based map layers, in the database environment and pull these through dynamically into InstantAtlas reports.
  • It means you can reduce the time it takes to create and manage your dynamic reports.  Instead of requiring one report for every reporting geography in your InstantAtlas Server solution, Server Publisher only requires that you have one report per InstantAtlas report template.
  • It simplifies the set up, in dynamic reports, of drill-down from one higher level area to multiple lower level areas.
  • It enables you to deliver your background mapping through a web mapping service (WMS - OGC compliant), resulting in seamless and rapid image delivery.
  • It enables the presentation of a user-defined custom selection of areas in a dynamic report.
  • You can connect Server Publisher to existing Geographical Information System (GIS) infrastructure, such as ESRI's ArcGIS Server, to tap seamlessly into corporate spatial data stores.

NeSS module

NeSS Data Transfer Tool

The NeSS Data Transfer Tool is a wizard based utility that allows the user to download and import indicator data from the Neighbourhood Statistics (NeSS) Data Exchange Service published by the Office of National Statistics (ONS). This tool can be used to import data straight away or can be scheduled to run at particular times using the IAS Data Synchronisation Service. The key functions of the NeSS Data Transfer Tool include:

  • Browse and import data from the NeSS Data Exchange Service into IAS
  • Choose specific Indicators and Instances
  • Set up multiple data transfer tasks
  • Match Indicators and Geo-Type features between NeSS and IAS to ensure data consistency and to avoid the creation of duplicates
  • Automatically create NeSS Indicators and Geo-Types if they do not already exist on your IAS system
  • Import metadata into IAS at Indicator and Instance level matching against standard Dublin Core
  • Configure data import immediately, at a specific date/time in the future or on a regular schedule to minimise disruption to end users and to match ONS publishing schedules

Further information on NeSS

Watch video overview

Data Transfer Tool

IAS Data Transfer Tool

The IAS Data Transfer Tool is a wizard based utility that allows the user to copy Indicator data, along with related Metadata and geo-data from one installation of InstantAtlas Server to another. As with the NeSS Data Transfer Tool data can be transferred straight away or scheduled to run at particular times using the IAS Data Synchronisation Service, which comes bundled with this tool. The key functions of the IAS Data Transfer Tool include:

  • Browse and import data from the source IAS system
  • Match to existing Indicators and Geo-Types or create new ones if they do not already exist on your destination IAS system
  • Configure data import immediately, at a specific date/time in the future or on a regular schedule to minimise disruption to end users

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The requirements for InstantAtlas Server are the following:


InstantAtlas Server supports the following database platforms:

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 / 2008 / 2012 / 2014

Web server

Microsoft Windows Server 2008 / 2012 (Internet Information Services 7 / 8)

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IA Server is delivered under a per server license.

The components of a typical IA Server solution are:

  • Hardware
  • IA Server modules
  • InstantAtlas Desktop software (licensed separately)
  • Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle and any other products (e.g. web mapping servers)
  • Annual maintenance
  • Annual Support Agreement
  • Customisation services including branding
  • Implementation support services
  • Training (generally for administrators)
  • Support for data processing and loading (where appropriate)

Please contact Sales using the details below to discuss your requirement.

How to contact us:




United Kingdom:

North America:

UK: 9:00-17:00 UTC/GMT
USA: 9:00-17:00 EST

+44 131 524 7250



+44 131 464 0271


Template Examples

Document Resources