Local Information Systems network event

Communities and Local GovernmentOn 29th January, Communities and Local Government hosted a network event on local information systems designed to enable colleagues to learn from one another’s experience and consider the future of local information systems.

The event was well attended by a range of organisations from across the country including the ONS, Communities and Local Government, the Environment Agency, the West Midlands Regional Observatory, the Black Country Observatory, a number of Local Authorities, in addition to several consultancies.

Highlights of the day include:

  • A presentation and demonstrations by Rocket Science on a toolkit they have implemented for those looking to develop local information systems.
  • Professor Paul Foley (De Montfort Graduate Business School) also offered some interesting insights into the value and benefits of implementing and running a Local Information System (LIS), following the research he undertook on behalf of CLG into the costs, savings and benefits that LIS can achieve. He argued that implementing a LIS had saved one authority up to £500,000.

Several choices of breakout sessions were available, I attended ‘Why statistics are like bikinis: new directions for your information’ where Emma Cunliffe from South Tyneside Council delivered an interesting presentation on her experiences of setting up a LIS, the benefits of a LIS and how to overcome barriers to people using a LIS.

After lunch, Bert Provan (Communities and Local Government) gave an overview of the changing role and context for LIS. Martin Burroughs (OldhamInfo) followed on from this by posing a series of questions for delegates to thrash out on whether a formal LIS group should be established.

Delegates discussed these in detail during breakout sessions, the consensus in my group was that it would be useful to share further LIS good practice, but existing forums could possibly be better utilised to enable this. Key points from all discussions will be written up and posted on the esd toolkit website within the next few weeks.

Callum Foster and Andrew Sansom (Office for National Statistics) delivered the penultimate presentation of the day on how the NeSS data Exchange enabled LIS’ to engage with the Neighbourhood Statistics (NeSS) datastore. This view was supported by an LIS user who was already reaping the benefits of the NeSS Data Exchange.

Tom Smith (Oxford Consultants for Social Inclusion) delivered the closing presentation on the benefits of the Data4nr website for people who regularly use data.

The day closed with a question and answer session, further demonstrations of Rocket Science’s LIS toolkit and the opportunity to further network with colleagues.

4 Responses

  1. Adrian has also posted a review of the event with some very useful background information on the Improvement and Development Agency Strategy ad Development Unit’s website.

    Read it here: Lost in Birmingham – LIS, data interchange, interoperability and all that stuff

  2. […] Local Information Systems network event « Observations Update of the CLG sponsored LIS event from the West Midlands Regional Observatory blog (tags: LIS event CLG) […]

  3. Presentations from the event can now be downloaded from the ESD toolkit website (provided you have registered for a username and password), the link is included below:


  4. An event summary by Jon Maslen, Government Solutions Director at GeoWise, is available at:

    http://www.instantatlas.com/downloads/CLG_LIS_Event_Jan09.pdf (PDF, 86KB)

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