Improving data visualisation for the public sector

Screenshot of home page of improving-visualisation.org

A new resource to help public sector researchers improve the way they visualise data has recently been launched.

DataViz, at www.improving-visualisation.org, is a new website launched by OCSI containing a gallery of visualisation types (which you can browse by tag).

There are also useful case studies on what makes for good visualisation, practical steps for improving visualisation and a review of online visualisation tools.

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Unemployment rates in Worcestershire: August 2009

Two people at entrance to Malvern Hills science parkWorcestershire County Council’s research and intelligence unit publish a monthly round-up of employment fact and figures.

These statistics are broken down by wards and districts, and also show the picture for the whole of Worcestershire in comparison to the West Midlands.

Highlights from the August 2009 summary (PDF, 713kb) include:
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Web service API for Observatory’s search service

Screenshot of website sources included in web service API

A new search engine went live on the Observatory’s website last month. The aim is to provide you with better search results — ranked by relevancy — and more detailed controls over refinements to your search results.

Another feature is that the search service provides search results from other regional organisations’ websites; the search isn’t limited to the pages within wmro.org.

Also, the search service is open for use by other organisations. The search functions are exposed as a web service API, which developers can use to query our search index and display the results in their own websites or applications.

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Speakers announced for the 2009 conference

West Midlands: Fit for the Future?One month to go until the Observatory’s 2009 conference – “West Midlands: Fit for the Future?” – on Tuesday 20th October at the Ramada Hotel in Sutton Coldfield.

Book online or fax us a booking form

Entitled “West Midlands: Fit for the Future?”, the conference will follow on from a book of the same name launched by the Observatory in July. The focus will be on the economic recovery of the region, rather than the recession, and how we position the West Midlands to ‘hit the ground running’. Delegates will be encouraged to discuss issues raised in the book and influence development of the evidence base to inform the Single Regional Strategy.

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Invitation to ONS 2011 Census outputs consultation event in Leicester

Office for National Statistics logoThe next full census of England and Wales will take place in 2011. It includes a number of new approaches which will be evaluated during a rehearsal on 11th October 2009 with around 135,000 selected households in three local authority areas.

The Census Rehearsal will test, among other things, the questions being asked, the accuracy of the address list for posting out questionnaires and the new internet services for getting help and completing questionnaires online.

Planning and preparation for the outputs from the 2011 Census is continuing with a series of roadshows in October 2009 to formally start the consultation on outputs.

Along with the original event locations across England, an additional event will now be held at the Marriott Hotel in Leicester on Monday 12th October Thursday 22nd October.

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Place Survey results 2008

Logo of Department for Communities and Local GovernmentThe results of the Place Survey 2008 have recently been released.

This is a national survey administered by local authorities. It aims to collect consistent national data on the way people feel about their local area and the way in which their local authority is run.

We can use the results of the place survey to compare the West Midlands region as a whole to other English regions, and to compare local authorities within the West Midlands to one another.

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Secondment opportunity for research analyst at the Observatory

West Midlands Regional Observatory logoThe Observatory is currently looking for an experienced research analyst to provide maternity cover for one of our team.

The post is available as a part-time secondment, working with us for 2-3 days per week until next summer.

The Observatory will be able to cover salary and related costs for the postholder for the days they are working for us.

Here’s the job description (DOC, 52kb).

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