2011 Census Output Geography Consultation

Office for National StatisticsThe Office for National Statistics (ONS) are holding a consultation on the 2011 Census Output Geography policy.

Dr Ray Perrins from the South West Observatory has volunteered to respond on behalf of the Association of Regional Observatories.

There are three main topics:

  1. A new geography for improved reporting of business statistics and statistics relating to the workplace
  2. An upper layer of Super Output Areas (USOAs)
  3. A request for exceptional instances of current Output Areas and Super Output Areas, as designed for 2001, that do not fit present criteria for statistical zones

However, the consultation also provides an opportunity for you to comment on any aspect of the current 2011 Census Output Geography policy.

If you’re involved in the Regional Observatories and would like anything to be included in any response from the Association of Regional Observatories, please contact Dr Ray Perrins at the South West Observatory. Please get responses to Ray by Monday, 22nd March 2010.

However, the consultation is open to everyone, including members of the public. ONS suggest on their site that:

Government departments, unitary, county and district councils, metropolitan boroughs and other large census user organisations should discuss their requirements internally before making a joint submission.

How to make a submission and contact details are available on the ONS consultation page.

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Association of Regional Observatories launches new website

Association of Regional ObservatoriesThe Association of Regional Observatories have launched their new website at www.regionalobservatories.org.uk.

Features on the the new site include the Association’s news feed, an aggregated news feed from all regional observatories, newsletter and reading room.

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Association of Research Observatories launch newsletter

Association of Regional ObservatoriesThe Association of Research Observatories published their first newsletter (pdf, 344kb) this month.

The May 2009 newsletter features news on how Regional Observatories across England are supporting policy making with better evidence.

Features include what the West Midlands might look like after the recession, and the launch of Insight East, the new economic intelligence centre for the East of England.

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Feeling SNUG?

upward-trend-3d-chart-web-res_v10_image_gw2Do you regularly use statistics and data for analysis at sub-national level? Do you have trouble finding or accessing the right information? Does the data you need exist at the geography you need it?

The Statistics User Forum, Association of Regional Observatories (ARO) and Office for National Statistics are exploring the interest in setting up a Sub-National data User Group (SNUG) to represent users of data at regional, sub-regional and local level. The group would be a place to share issues, put questions to data providers, and have a say on what works and what needs improving.

The Association of Regional Observatories are looking for volunteers to attend a brief meeting, to look at the issues that the group might address, and to shape a programme of meetings (perhaps 2 or 3 a year) which would be open to all.

So, if you have valuable experience you’d like to share, which could help highlight the issues and improve matters, they would like to hear from you.

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Data presentation techniques

On 18 July, several members of the Observatory attended a masterclass on data presentation hosted by the Association of Regional Observatories. Speakers at the event included Ed Swires-Hennessy (Local Government Data Unit, Wales), Alan Smith (Head of Data Visualisation, Office for National Statistics) and Robert Radburn (Research and Information Team, Leicestershire County Council).

It’s going to take some time to work through the wealth of information showcased at the event, but some of the techniques demonstrated there have already provided food for thought. Continue reading