Data for the community - a look at how data assets are being used at a local level

Outside government, there have been initiatives for the publication and use of data assets in the third sector and within local community groups. These initiatives have generally seen a limited scope, as they were centred around a single initiative or project; sometimes they used Open Data, but other times they created their own, new data. This report will look at some of these initiatives.

Power to Change commissioned Giuseppe Sollazzo, director of Puntofisso Ltd, and Mark Braggins, director of AHA Digital Ltd, to look at pockets of activity that point to interesting uses of data at a local level, for the benefit of the local community. The definition of local is rather loose in this context, and intended to cover both hyperlocal activities, happening at a street or neighbourhood level, and those covering a specific community within a local area. It also covers citywide initiatives.

This report aims to assess the extent to which data is being used at a local level. It narrates findings from a cross-section of local authorities, charities, democracy activists, civil society, and community businesses. It contains a display of uses of the most interesting community level datasets by ‘early adopters’ in local authorities, neighbourhood civil society organisations and community businesses. The data used is found in national datasets, postcode information, local surveys, or in proprietary data assets provided by business intelligence organisations.