Data updates in Local Insight

October has been a busy month for Local Insight! Last week we released some brand new functionality to allow you to upload more of your own data into Local Insight. Read more about that new functionality here.

We have also updated a number of the standard datasets in Local Insight. The monthly data updates include indicators from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), Hospital Episode Statistics, Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES) and Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

What’s been updated?

Data on employment type and the proportion of employees per industry sector from the Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES)
Highlights include:

  • Full-time employee jobs
  • Part-time employee jobs
  • Public sector employee jobs
  • Private sector employee jobs
  • Jobs in agriculture, forestry and fishing
  • Jobs in arts, entertainment, recreation and other services
  • Jobs in business administration and support services
  • Jobs in construction
  • Jobs in education

Monthly unemployment benefit data from The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Highlights include: 

  • Jobseekers Allowance claimants, claiming for over 12 months
  • Unemployment benefit (JSA and Universal Credit)
  • Youth unemployment (18-24 receiving JSA or Universal Credit)

Please note, in accordance with the changes made by the Department of Work and Pensions relating to Universal Credit, the unemployment benefit gender breakdowns (male and female) now include both JSA and Universal Credit. The indicators are now called:

  • Unemployment benefit (JSA and Universal Credit), male
  • Unemployment benefit (JSA and Universal Credit), female

Data on causes of death from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Datasets included are:

  • Low birth weight
  • Cancer incidence
  • Deaths from cancer
  • Deaths (all causes)
  • Deaths all ages, coronary heart disease (CHD)
  • Deaths all ages, circulatory disease
  • Deaths all ages, respiratory disease
  • Deaths all ages, stroke

This data is broken down further with indicators showing the causes of deaths of under 75s and under 65s, and covering different types of cancer incidence. This data now covers the time period of 2011-2015.

Data on elective and emergency hospital admissions from the Hospital Episode Statistics. Datasets include:

  • Emergency hospital admissions, Myocardial Infarction
  • Emergency hospital admissions, Stroke
  • Hospital stays for intentional self harm
  • Hospital admissions for alcohol attributable harm

Indicators available within Local Insight

To see a list of all of the indicators available in Local Insight and also a full list of the new updates check out this Knowledge Base article.

If you have any questions about the new data updates, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us on or give us a call on 01273 810270.

Upload your data gets a makeover!

What’s new

In addition to the 800 preloaded datasets readily available in Local Insight, you can also add in your own organisational datasets. Up until now, this has been restricted to postcode level data.

However, we know that you collect and hold data at a number of other geographic levels and have added functionality so that you can quickly and easily add your own data into Local Insight for a range of geographies.

You can now upload datasets held at output area (OA), lower layer super output area (LSOA), middle layer super output area (MSOA) and Local Authority area (LA) level, as well as postcodes.

This gives you more freedom to customise and curate Local Insight, by opening up a wider pool of potential datasets you can upload.

This development was one of the top priorities from the Local Insight user group, and we are excited to see how you will use it in your work.

What can you do with this new functionality?

At OCSI we are data addicts and so where possible, we are always adding new and exciting datasets to Local Insight. However, there are three conditions indicators must meet in order to be loaded into Local Insight. The datasets must :

  • Have national coverage
  • Be available at small area level
  • Be open data

The new functionality provides you will the ability to load in any dataset to Local Insight. Therefore, if you have data which covers your local areas only, data only available at Local Authority level or private purchased data you can now load these indicators into Local Insight. These will be visible only to people with access to your account.

Local data

Many of our users are from Public Health teams across the country. These teams hold detailed local datasets on many health issues such as alcohol consumption, smoking prevalence and cessation. Much of this data is held at LSOA level. Using the new functionality this data can now be loaded into Local Insight. Once loaded into the tool, you could:

  • Visualise the data on the map to identify hotspot areas
  • Use the Dashboard to see how your custom areas compare on local datasets
  • Use the Dashboard to compare this local data with the standard national datasets to see if the local picture matches the national picture.

Local Authority level data

We get a lot of requests to add Local Authority level data to Local Insight.  We do not load such datasets in as once the data is apportioned down to match custom areas it is no longer an accurate representation for that local area.

However, you can now add your own Local Authority data to view on the maps if you so wish, We have also set a threshold on the zoom feature so that you can only visualise the data on the map at LA level, if you try to scroll in further to see the data at MSOA or LSOA level, it will not change.

Below are some examples of LA level datasets that have been requested before:

  • EU Referendum results data (some data available at LA level)
  • Hate Crime
  • Domestic abuse
  • Young carers
  • Annual Population Survey

You can now load these datasets into Local Insight. If you want advice on how to do this please email and watch out for our upcoming webinar on uploading data into Local Insight.

Private Data

If your organisation has purchased or licensed private data this can also now be loaded into Local Insight (As long as your license agreement allows for the use of the data in this way).

How to use this new functionality?

In Local Insight you have always been able to upload your own data at postcode level using the Manage your Data feature on the Group Admin drop down. This new development has built upon and extended that feature to allow you to load in your organisation’s data at standard area level; OA LSOA, MSOA or Local Authority (LA).

Uploading your own data

To upload data into Local Insight you need to do two things:

  • Create the Metadata  
  • Upload the data.

Creating Metadata  

Metadata is the underlying information which describes the context of the dataset. What is it called? What source is it from? Which time period does it cover? At this stage you also  select the geographic level you are uploading data for.

Uploading the Data

Once the metadata is ready you can upload the raw data. To do this you will need a CSV file with two columns. The first column is for the area codes. For example, a list of postcodes, OA codes, LSOA codes, MSOA codes or LA codes. In the second column you will put the actual numerical data.

Have a look at the Knowledge Base for a step by step guide to uploading data in Local Insight.

What codes can you upload?

Upload your Data uses standard area codes, and accepts both 2001 and 2011 LSOA codes.

Take a look at the Knowledge Base for more information on the format to upload data in. 

If you use different formats for your data and want to know if they are compatible with the upload your data tool, please get in touch and we can talk this through with you.

More improvements to Upload your Data

As part of the development work for this project, we added some tweaks and tidies suggested to us by our users

Edit metadata: You can now edit some of the metadata for your datasets. This applies to the parts of metadata that are purely aesthetic (e.g. the description, name of the indicator, text on the legend). So now if you spot a typo or receive feedback on your metadata, you can easily change this – hoorah!

Please note: You will not be able to change the parts of the metadata that affect the way that data is aggregated (e.g. choosing whether the data is summed or averaged), so take care in ensuring that you pick the right option the first time round!

Feedback on upload results: We have made improvements to the user experience once you have uploaded your data. When you click the final “import” button, you will now see a pop-up indicating that the upload is working.


loading page

Start uploading your own data

If you’ve never used the Upload your Data feature before, you may want to check out this section on our Knowledge Base first. However, for the data heroes that have uploaded data before, the new functionality is now live so jump right in.

Over the next couple of weeks we will be running some webinars on how to get most out of this new functionality. Keep an eye out for dates and times. For more information on the webinars and to be kept up to date on times and dates email


The Local Insight Community is a space to share ideas and best practice. So, whether you have big plans for how you will be uploading data – or are looking for a bit of inspiration, share your experiences over on the Community Forum.