Have your say!

We at the Observatory aim to provide you with a first class information service on the region, and a website that makes this easy for you to do. Recently we have been thinking about what we could do to improve finding information on our website and how we could lay it out better for you.

To help me with this I would be very grateful if you could give me five minutes of your time to complete an online questionnaire about it.

Please use this link to access the questionnaire

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West Midlands sub-regional information sources

If you are looking for specific data or information about one of the sub-regions, in addition to our Resource Catalogue on wmro.org, you might also like to try one of the sub-regional intelligence units.

Here is a list of some of them to help you track down the information that you need.

In addition to these, many of the local authorities also have intelligence or research units that can provide data and statistics. I’ve previously looked at one, Research Sandwell, in an earlier posting.

If you have other sources of sub-regional information that are not listed here, why not post a comment to let others know about it. And of course, you can always submit details of any research and data sources relevant to the West Midlands to the resource catalogue, thereby making it even easier for others to track down!

West Midlands worst for fear of homophobic hate crime

The West Midlands heads some league tables that it can be proud of, but this is not one of them.  According to new research published by Stonewall, gays and lesbians are more likely to fear homophobic hate crime in the West Midlands than anywhere else in the UK. Of course fear of crime isn’t the same as being a victim of crime, but as the saying goes “perception is reality”. This and other issues are explored in The gay British crime survey 2008, which can be found in our resource catalogue.

Can’t I just use Google?

When promoting the regional resource catalogue to colleagues around the region, we tend to find that most tell us they’re using a search engine like Google, Live or Yahoo! to try to source data and information.

However, they also tell us that these Internet search engines do not always locate the information that they need or they present a lot of irrelevant material that the user has to trawl through before locating the desired information.

The regional resource catalogue, available here on wmro.org, was set up specifically to provide easy access to data and information that is directly relevant to the West Midlands region. We aim to link our users through the catalogue with the data and information about the West Midlands and its sub-​regions that they need to inform their work and inform decision-​making across the Heart of England.

We currently provide access to more than 2,500 reports, datasets, websites, strategies and other useful resources, and the content is constantly being reviewed, updated and added to. Continue reading

Sandwell… I know it so well!

Sculpture in West BromwichOur regional resource catalogue has grown rapidly during the past twelve months and it now provides fully searchable access to over 2500 datasets, reports, web sites and other intelligence available. It’s one of the – if not the – most comprehensive catalogues of West Midlands data and intelligence available.

With coverage growing all the time, we are improving the content of the database all of the time. One of our more recent additions is the Research Sandwell website which is a ‘must-visit’ for anyone looking for data and intelligence on the Sandwell area. Continue reading