visualize | communicate | ENGAGE
Locus Insight was set up by Tom Hobson to provide a comprehensive range of services related to spatial data management and visualisation in the social, economic and environmental fields. Locus Insight helps clients by bringing clarity to their presentation of spatial information. Its work with InstantAtlas is an extension of its geographic information service. Locus Insight also seeks to help individuals and organisations gain insight from public sector data. “It’s about the means by which public sector information is made available – it really isn’t accessible unless you are familiar with ways to access it,” says Tom.
Tom says he has been using geographical information systems (GIS) for many years but two years ago realised there were limitations when it came to delivering interactive solutions for clients who were not familiar with GIS. He looked at a number of options but decided InstantAtlas could work well for the Locus Insight client base. “Traditional GIS solutions were static in comparison and I think that certainly as far as standard PDFs go they have had their day when it comes to reporting data,” he says.
“The motivation for the company is to tackle the paradox where, in a world awash with data, nailing accurate, current information can be frustratingly difficult. Vast amounts of important data are available in the public domain but navigating and interpreting it is often daunting.”
Locus Insight is now using InstantAtlas to offer a design-and-build service for companies and organisations wishing to deploy dynamic reports but lacking the in-house resources to do so.
Meeting the need
Locus has many different outputs and is constantly looking to improve its offer to clients. For example, it has just developed a CRM application that enables it to deploy and manage reports with minimum effort from clients.
Besides its client work, Locus Insight also seeks to make sense of data that is compiled by government departments and not made available in an easy-to-understand format. Locus Insight’s Irish Hospitals Data Monitor is a good example of this. The Irish Health Service Executive (HSE) produces detailed monthly reports on a range of key metrics for Ireland’s hospital network. These are published in tabular form in monthly supplementary performance reports. The figures and trends are of major interest to a wide range of stakeholders in the Irish healthcare sector - patients, hospital staff and management, professional unions, politicians and policy makers.
The Irish Hospitals Data Monitor releases the data from the confines of a static report to an instantly accessible interactive format providing rapid access to critical information on the acute hospital system.
Another Locus Insight project is The Mood of Europe - an insight into civic sentiment across 32 European states. “Currently, this information is tucked away in the Eurobarometer reports of the Public Opinion Analysis Sector of the European Commission. Using InstantAtlas to present the data liberates the information from the confines of a static PDF document and makes it really accessible,” says Tom.
Tom explains that these reports are used by a broad audience. “We find that users are mainly in the academic field but it does include journalists and commentators.” says Tom.
Locus is working with InstantAtlas to see whether there is potential for it to be used as a performance dashboard in business intelligence. Tom believes that current solutions aren’t very strong on the geographic aspect of data visualisation. The dashboard would aggregate data from several different sources and allow users to compare metrics between dispersed business units
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