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“Helping Nottingham meet its 20-year vision by providing an accessible intelligence resource”


Laura Denny, Intelligence Co-ordinator, Nottingham Insight Network, says that getting the website to where it is today has been an iterative process. Nottingham Insight started out as a bespoke GIS application in 2005 which had been built in-house. However, it was taking time to maintain and the way the system was built was constraining future developments. The team had already used InstantAtlas desktop and felt that InstantAtlas server could help them meet their development needs.


Building the templates took some time and effort but Laura says it was worth it. The Nottingham Insight team were trying to push the boundaries and ended up using beta versions of the software to make sure they got what they wanted.


Data collection also proved a big task but establishing links with partner organisations has proved worthwhile. “One of the members of the team maintains the system but it’s no longer a technical role. This means our developer is freed up to make enhancements as and when they are needed,” says Laura.


Meeting the need


Nottingham Insight’s profile library contains data on range of themes - for example: Crime, Population, Housing and the Economy. The data library allows for direct access into the underlying raw data which drives the profiles. The website also carries a database of documentation; these are publicly accessible strategic documents provided by Nottingham City Council.


A good example of Nottingham Insight in action is the way it was used by Nottingham University Hospitals’ Strategy Team. The Strategy Team is responsible for preparing the NHS Trust’s business plans which inform the way it will deliver its services. It used Nottingham Insight to analyse and describe the demographics of potential patients in Nottingham in order to discover any trends and to anticipate future demand for its services. This included analysis of age and ethnic profiles, ‘health not good’ rates, as well as health-related behaviours of people in Nottingham, including smoking.


Keith Reynolds, Deputy Director of Strategy, Nottingham University Hospitals says: “As the information on Nottingham Insight is shared with our other key stakeholders, we avoided any potential problems arising from incompatible data and findings. Our plans are shared with other commissioners of health services and local authorities we found that our findings resonated with their understanding of what the local population needs, which ensures we have joined-up planning.”


Future developments


Now partners have seen the benefit of Nottingham Insight they are much more willing to provide data and the team is now in a position where it can send out standard templates.


Laura says that the aim is to provide a resource that helps local people question why partner organisations have decided on a particular course of action. This means continuing to publicise the website and make it much more “open”.


The intention is also to give analysts working for partner organisations greater access to local intelligence so the website never stands still.

Guest blogging posts from the Nottingham Insight team

Wendy Conibear, Information Analyst in the GIS, Data & Information Team (Development Department) at Nottingham City Council

School Health Profiles live on Nottingham Insight

Census Profiles for Small Communities



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