LG Inform Service

Last Updated:4th Fenruary 2014

What is it?

An online application for the presentation, analysis and sharing of local government performance metrics held in a cloud-based metrics library organised and referenced to the esd-standards   metrics type list.

It was developed in consultation with the local government sector by the Local
Government Association (LGA) in 2012 and 2013. It was opened to English Local Authorities and Fires and Rescue services in September 2013 and partially opened to the general public (search and display features, not bespoke report building capabilities) in November 2013.  This is a practical response to the sector’s call for greater freedom to take responsibility for its own regulation and improvement.

Purpose

There are huge amounts of performance and contextual data online about the English local government sector on-line, but without the LG Inform service, their locations, semantics, structures and formats are wide ranging and difficult to combine to give an easy presentation of performance and achievements.

LG Inform provides a means of bringing many of these data sets into one place
online and organised to allow use in combination to identify comparisons,
trends, successes and issues.    The service splits into three  parts:  an online data store of metrics that are accessible to subscribers via a direct data feed through an application programmable interface API, an application called LG Inform that is freely accessible and provides a strategic  view of local government sector performance across over 1500 plus measures and a subscription service called LG Inform Plus (formerly the  esd-toolkit programme) that provides drill down to ward level information (and lower geographies where data are available) through small area reporting  and  information management tools.

Where is it?

The Service is hosted on behalf of the LGA as follows:

LG Inform: http://www.local.gov.uk/lginform   Help pages: http://lginform.local.gov.uk/about-lg-inform/help

LG Inform Plus: http://www.local.gov.uk/lginformplus help pages: http://about.esd.org.uk/about

esd-standards: http://standards.esd.org.uk  help pages: http://about.esd.org.uk/standards

Ownership and Licensing

LG Inform application is owned and managed by the Local Government Association.  Freely available for by local authorities and fire and rescue services without charge.   All data currently made available within LG Inform is already in public domain.

LG Inform Plus application is owned by the local government sector and accessible under subscription access – subscription details and benefits are here: http://about.esd.org.uk/subscription-benefits

esd-standards are freely available, hosted by Porism Ltd on behalf of the local government sector data under the Open Government Licence. Use must be attributed to the esd-toolkit programme.

Scope and Jurisdictions

The service applies to England.

Metrics are grouped into themes of

  • Advice and benefits
  • Business and employment
  • Community safety
  • Education and learning
  • Environmental protection
  • Government, citizens and rights
  • Health and social care
  • Housing
  • Leisure and culture
  • Planning and building control
  • Transport and highways

… which are taken from the esd tookit Functions list – http://id.esd.org.uk/FunctionList/

Management

The data content in LG Inform and LG Inform Plus is defined by metrics populated in the esd-toolkit metrics type list.  New candidate metrics for inclusion are determined, approved and defined via an engagement strategy provided by the Local Government Association and the LG Inform Plus/esd-toolkit programme.

Updates are applied in real time against a published metrics update
timetable managed by the Local Government Association.  Service levels aim to provide new metric updates in LG inform within three days of the original publication online by the data supplying organisations.

What Standards does it make use of?

The list is defined as a SKOS list according to the W3C.  See http://www.w3.org/2004/02/skos/

The URIs follow the guidance at

http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/resource-library/designing-uri-sets-uk-public-sector

Formats returned are:

RDF, XML, CSV, RTF, PDF and HTML

Mappings to other Classification Systems

Links to other parts of the Local Government Business Model, some of which provide “dimensions” for metric values:

Take Up

LG inform is currently used by local authorities and fire authorities in England.  The user base is growing continuously; in December 2013, some 1500 recorded users achieved representing 355 local government organisations.  In December 2013, public access became available with typically 3,400 visits per month.

Product Support

Source metrics data held against the metrics type list used currently by LG Inform and LG Inform Plus are also available via a secure direct data feed using web services and open Linked Data uri sets within an application programmable interface.

Potential Future Development and re-use

During 2014

  • Facilities are to be opened to allow the upload of local data from local authorities, fire services and performance networks to supplement and use in combination with the national data already available
  • LG Inform Plus will launch its small are report generator to council-wide and ward-specific performance and context data – see sample examples here:  http://www.local.gov.uk/lginformplus
  • LGA would like to explore with other public sector organisations establishing the approach taken by the Metric Types Lists as a UK public sector standard for defining metrics

Comments from the Custodian ( Local Government Association )

Such intelligence will help councils and fire and rescue authorities make the right decisions about their local areas and the services they provide to their residents.

A thriving Knowledge Group on the Knowledge Hub is the central place where online discussions and announcements take place.  It is available here: https://knowledgehub.local.gov.uk/group/lginform

Technical support via the esd-toolkit programme email and Information Management, LGBM and lists online forum.

Support on metric type definitions via the LG Inform – Improving services through information online group.

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