Update to Local Insight geographies and maintenance period

This November we are updating the geographic areas in Local Insight. In order to ensure this update goes smoothly, we will be limiting access to admin features on Local Insight for a short period of time. This upgrade to our geographic database will cause data for some of your custom areas to change. These changes will overall be very minor. The information in this blog details how, why and when these updates are happening.

Site Maintenance Period

This update is planned to commence on Thursday 15th November at 3pm and will finish on Monday 19th November at 2pm. During this period, you will still be able to access Local Insight, however, you will be limited to View Reports access. This means you will be able to view everything on the tool but will not be able to access any of the admin features which allow you to; create custom areas, request reports, upload services, upload data or manage your indicators. We will keep you updated throughout this process and make you aware when all is back to normal. Please do get in touch if you have any concerns or questions.

What will change?

Local Insight is built on the Census geographies: Middle Layer Super Output Areas (MSOA), Lower Layer Super Output Areas (LSOA) and Output Areas (OA). These are statistical geographies which were created for the Census in 2001 and then updated in 2011. Local Insight has historically used the 2001 Census geographies. This means that when you create custom areas and when you view data on the maps, you are viewing the 2001 boundaries. During this update, we will be upgrading to use the 2011 boundaries.

Not all boundaries changed during the 2011 update, in fact, only about 5% of areas nationally had any changes.

For more information on the background of Super Output Areas and the ways in which they changed; please see guidance from ONS and download their explanations.

Why are we doing this update now?

We didn’t move to the 2011 geographies straight away as until very recently data from a number of our key sources such as the Department of Work and Pensions (which update data very regularly) still published data at the 2001 area level.

During this time our data processes used weighted lookups from the old to new geographies in order to account for the 5% of areas that had changed. Take a look at our Knowledge Base for more information on our methodology.

We are guided by our users when it comes to the development priorities for Local Insight. 2011 area codes have been raised by a number of organisations, however, had not been voted as a number one priority. We understand as time progresses, that these updates become more pressing and we are excited to implement this update.

What does this mean for my custom areas and data?

Custom Areas

Will data change for my custom areas?

Those custom areas which contain OAs, LSOAs or MSOAs that changed in 2011 will be updated to reflect these changes. What this means is that you may see some very slight changes to the data for some of your custom areas.

How will I know which custom areas have been affected?

We are going to email the Local Insight lead of every organisation with a list of all the custom areas which have been updated. If you are unsure who the project lead for your organisation is, or would like to be included in this email, please get in touch on support@ocsi.co.uk.

Will my custom areas look different?

Some of your custom areas may look visually different after this update. This will depend on how your custom areas were created:

  • All custom areas which were created by; Drawing on a map, based on postcodes or created by the shape-file importer will not change visually.
  • Custom areas created by selecting standard areas may change visually if they contain any OAs, LSOAs, MSOAs  which were updated in 2011.

 

Custom Data

Custom datasets which you have uploaded yourselves may display differently and therefore may require re-uploading. We will send each Local Insight Group Admin a breakdown of the custom datasets affected and guidance for how to re-upload successfully.  

Public sites

As is standard, the public access Local Insight sites will reflect any changes made in your main group. Therefore, if you are keen to see how your custom data will be affected and make any adjustments before it is publicly shown, we suggest that you temporarily hide your custom datasets on the public site. This is entirely down to your discretion. If you cannot remember how to disable a dataset from being shown on the public site then check out this article on our Knowledge Base.

More information

If you have any questions on how this will affect your custom areas and data, please do get in touch on support@ocsi.co.uk or give us a call on 01273 810270.