Gaining a deeper insight into communities
Inspired by a presentation at one of Esri UK’s annual conferences, this rural borough council started to use Mosaic data with Esri’s ArcGIS Desktop solution to gain unprecedented insight into the 105,000 people living in its communities. The initiative has helped attract funding to the borough, save money and deliver an improved service for its citizens.
Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council provides local government services in rural south west Leicestershire, covering an area of 114.8 m2 and serving a population of 105,200. Its only towns are Hinckley, Earl Shilton and Market Bosworth.
The council used ArcGIS to perform analysis and complete a successful bid for £35,000 for youth cricket facilities
Improved information about elderly residents enables the council to help them claim benefits to which they are entitled
Around £18,000 of savings have been made from no longer using outside consultants for survey purposes
Geographic information systems (GIS) have been used at the council for many years, and in 2007, it undertook an internal audit of its GIS usage. “Two things came out of that audit”, explains Lee McMahon, land and property data manager. “First of all, we really needed to know more about the communities we served; and secondly we needed to be able to access this knowledge more easily.”
At an Esri UK conference, McMahon was inspired by a presentation about a London borough using Mosaic data with ArcGIS software. Developed by Experian, Mosaic categorises people and households using tightly defined classifications, based a variety of data sources. “What impressed me was how much information could be gained about communities and how this information had really driven major a transformation in a London borough.”
Mosaic gives us a new level of knowledge about our communities… By using this data in ArcGIS, we can highlight trends and uncover the root cause of issues
Lee McMahon – Land and Property Data Manager
The council bought local Mosaic data to use with its suite of ArcGIS Desktop, maximising the benefit of the software it already had. The GIS team quickly and easily imported Mosaic data into ArcGIS and consolidated it with its own data and that of third parties, such as the Land Registry. Using the powerful analysis tools of ArcGIS, they built up a detailed picture of local communities:
New opportunities for young people
The English Cricket Board and the council jointly applied for funding to create youth sections of existing cricket clubs. Polygon analysis was used to identify homes within walking distance of clubs, and the communities within each catchment were analysed. “We could simply ask the question: ‘Where is the highest likelihood of 4-14 year olds with the highest indices of multiple deprivation?’”, says McMahon. The maps generated were used in a successful bid for £35,000 of lottery funding.
Supporting the elderly
The council was good at detecting fraudulent benefit claims, but suspected it was less effective at helping citizens who were not claiming benefits to which they were entitled, particularly pensioners. They created a hotspot map, cross referencing households already claiming benefits against over 65s with the highest indices of multiple deprivations. Using this data, they launched a targeted campaign, in association with Age Concern.
Tackling anti-social behaviour
Mosaic data has been combined with police data to profile areas where anti-social behaviour is a problem. McMahon says: “Our GIS analysis is revealing correlations between the reports of anti-social behaviour and the locations of specific groups in the community that have a tendency to feel vulnerable, such as elderly people living alone.” The council is taking steps to support and reassure vulnerable groups and work with the police to prevent antisocial behaviour in these areas.
By pushing customer insight out to everyone via the web, we are hoping to give all our decision makers the information they need to deliver a better service to citizens
Lee McMahon – Land and Property Data Manager
McMahon is enthusiastic: “Mosaic gives us a new level of knowledge about our communities”, he says. “By using this data in ArcGIS, we can highlight trends and uncover the root cause of issues.” Decisions are better informed because the council knows where to deliver services and to whom: “Experienced council employees knew our communities pretty well anyway, but now that insight is more accessible.”
Financial gains include a saving of around £18,000 from not using outside consultants to survey service needs, direct marketing savings because leaflets are targeted at relevant households, plus the £35,000 grant for youth cricket. Rapid analysis means “we accomplished the whole English Cricket Board funding project in just one day”, recalls McMahon.
Since the council increased its use of GIS and introduced Mosaic data, its rating has jumped from ‘fair’ to ‘excellent’. “While this achievement can be attributed to many things, our extended use of ArcGIS with Mosaic data is one of the factors that has enabled us to make better decisions and improve our overall performance”, McMahon believes.
LocalView Fusion is now extending the benefits of GIS. “By pushing customer insight out to everyone via the web, we are hoping to give all our decision makers the information they need to deliver a better service to citizens”, says McMahon. A citizen portal is planned, called ‘My Hinckley’, which will integrate with the back office and customer relationship management system. “You don’t need to be a web developer or GIS expert to use LocalView Fusion and can embed mapping into web pages very easily”, says McMahon.