Give us a Twirl!

twirlThe Observatory’s resource catalogue continues to grow, giving policy and decision makers across the West Midlands improved access to data and research to support evidence-based decision making.

The development and growth of the catalogue has been achieved by working in partnership with West Midlands and sub-regional organisations to help share and publicise data and research about the West Midlands. Organisations such as Coventry City Council, Centro and Advantage West Midlands have all worked with us to share their intelligence through the catalogue.

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Got something useful you’d like to share?

As part of our strategic objectives, we aim to provide effective access to intelligence to encourage higher standards of evidence-​based decision-​making. One of the ways in which we do this is by providing a resource catalogue of research, data and intelligence about the West Midlands and its sub-regions.

The catalogue is built through contributions from Observatory staff and others around the region who want to share research that they’ve produced or found useful themselves. However, we recognise that sometimes people don’t have the time to complete a full submission to the catalogue, so we’ve introduced a new quick recommend a resource form.

All you need to enter on the recommend a resource form is the title of the resource and URL where it is located, along with your email address in case we need to contact you with any queries about it.

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Sharing intelligence from Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire

Yesterday, I attended the Coventry, Solihull and Wawickshire Researchers’ Forum to demonstrate the Observatory’s Resource Catalogue and show how the data and intelligence in the catalogue might support the work that they’re engaged in, and also to encourage further contributions to the catalogue from members of the forum to help share their data and intelligence across the region and sub-region.

The Resource Catalogue is available through the Observatory’s website and collects research, data and policy documents from across the West Midlands to create a fully searchable database for policy makers, decision makers, researchers and anyone else to access. There are contributions from organisations across the public, private and third sectors and what is particularly useful is that almost all are free and available immediately via a web-link.

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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

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