Power users and downloading your data

We have had a busy few weeks since the July user group meet-up, making good progress on the most important new features highlighted by users. Watch this space for “who’s on my patch”, “Neighbourhood dashboards” and “Upload your data” coming soon.

In the meantime, we’ve gone live with a couple of smaller updates that users have requested:

  • Data downloads: Single download file containing data for all Community Insight indicators, for all areas or just those areas in which you have properties. This means it is now straightforward to carry out more detailed analysis of your communities in statistics or GIS applications such as Excel, SPSS, ArcInfo etc.
  • Power users: As asked for by many of you, we have added ‘Power Users’ to Community Insight. A Power User can add/ edit stock groups and request reports, however cannot edit the original stock on your account, or delete stock groups. More information is available on power users here.
  • Community Insight Linkedin group: Subscribe to the group and get involved in the latest discussions with the Community Insight team and other users. We’re currently looking at how you want the ‘Upload your own data’ feature to work so that it best meets the needs of your organisation.
  • Minor tweaks and tidies: And as always we are working behind the scenes of Community Insight smoothing out the back end of the tool to ensure it always runs as efficiently as possible.

Check back regularly to see what’s new as we have more exciting new features in the pipeline. And if you have any comments or feedback about any of the above, do get in touch as we love to hear from you, or use the Linkedin page to share your thoughts & comments with other users.

Community Insight user group meet up

Thanks to all those who attended the Community Insight User Group meet-up last week. We were thrilled with the enthusiasm, feedback and support we received from everyone and are excited to be working with so many of you on the development of Community Insight.

What are people saying?

The meet-up was an excellent opportunity to discuss with users how Community Insight has benefited their organisation so far and in what capacity they are using the tool. We have put together a snippet of the feedback we have received so far about how different organisations are using the tool to improve and target their services.

  • “Community Insight allows us to question our funding and refocus budgets to fit actual needs”  – Circle Housing
  • “We have been able to locate our Welfare Benefit Advisors based on what we can see on Community Insight” – Viridian Housing
  • “Stock types have been useful in seeing how stock managed by different people overlaps. This allows us to work together, rather than feeling isolated”  – Symphony Housing

Future of Community Insight

We’re really pleased with where Community Insight is at the moment, but we know that there are still many ways to make the tool even better. Which is why it’s great to have so many housing associations on board at these early stages, working with us to continuously develop a tool that best suits their needs.

As promised at the user group, we gave users the chance to talk through and prioritise what we develop in the next few months.

1. High priorities

2. Medium priorities

3. Lower priority

Using a highly sophisticated Post-it & dots (TM 😉 ) system, the user group members identified the five features that were of most importance to them. From these notes we have compiled the top three developments which we will be prioritising for development:

1.       Upload your own data

This feature will go live in October this year, allowing users to upload their own data to Community Insight. The most requested feature at the user group meeting, subscribers are eager to be able to use their own data alongside the open data available on Community Insight.

2.       Who’s on my patch?

Community Insight will flag up other organisations that are working locally to you, or in areas that share similar characteristics. The popularity of this feature followed on from an excellent discussion had by all around the importance and benefits of sharing information and finding out who else is working in similar areas or dealing with similar challenges. This adds another element to the ‘Community’ aspect of ‘Community Insight’, and due to its popularity with subscribers will take top priority in future developments.

3.     Update indicators with Police UK data

Many users were keen to see police data at neighbourhood level as an indicator to overlay on the Community Insight map, especially for targeting and reducing anti-social behaviour in their neighbourhoods. We’re working on this for early Autumn, and also intend to include Land Registry open data on property prices.


If you can’t see your top priority features on our upcoming development plan, don’t worry! We will be rolling in even more over the next few months. Check back on our Community Insight blog to see the latest updates.

Couldn’t make the user group? We would love to hear from you, whether you are already a subscriber and want to have a chat about how your organisation is using the tool, or simply want to find out more.


Welsh reporting goes live

Reporting goes live: Community Insight Wales users can now generate detailed area reports for their properties.

In the same way Community Insight works, users define their groups based on their local neighbourhoods, communities and areas of interest. Area profile reports can then be generated based on these groups within a few minutes!

Reports provide detailed information on all the key indicators that support your work in targeting and evaluating community investment.

Check out the Community Insight FAQs for more information on the open data housing tool. And you can find out about the latest updates and new functionality here from our regular blog posts.

Are you a housing provider in Wales? If so, do get in touch and find out how Community Insight can benefit your organisation.



Map your hotspots in even more detail

Map your hotspot areas: The Community Insight map show how your areas compare with other areas across the country. However, many users have asked us if they could map their ‘hotspot’ areas in more detail- showing just those areas with the highest levels on the selected indicator, and picking out those in the top 1%, 5% and 10%.

The new ‘hotspot’ functionality does exactly this, showing areas in the top 20% of areas on the mapped indicator. You can toggle the between showing all areas, or just the hotspot areas.

All areas mapped:

‘Hotspots’ only mapped:

Stock type video tutorial: 

For those of you yet to set-up for your stock types, or would like more information on how to do so, check out the latest video tutorial below. There is also a link to this video on relevant pages in Community Insight.

Gearing up for Wales:

Our next update will extend Community Insight into Wales. If you’re a Welsh housing provider, then do get in touch to find out more.

Minor tweaks and tidies: And the usual work goes on ‘behind the scenes’, making sure Community Insight always runs as smoothly as possible.

Check back regularly to see what’s new, and do get in touch with any comments, feedback or questions.


Stock types are here!

Stock types are here: The most-requested feature from users at the user-group session was to allow different types of property type (General Needs, Shared Ownership, Supported Housing and so on), and for users to be able to create their own types.

Really pleased that this feature is now live on Community Insight. You can now define your own stock types, enabling you to categorise your properties. This lets you tailor your Community Insight account to match the way your organisation understands your properties.

Each stock type is displayed on the map using a different colour icon, and you can toggle each type to show, or hide, on the Community Insight map.

We know you’ll all have lots of burning questions about the new feature, so we have put together ‘frequently answered questions’ [pdf] about the stock types which will help you to get started.

Do get in touch if you have any questions or feedback on the stock types feature. We are eager to hear back about user experiences with the latest addition to Community Insight.

Minor tweaks and tidies: And as always we have been busy ‘behind the scenes’ making sure Community Insight always runs as smoothly as possible.

And as always, check back regularly to see what’s new, and do get in touch with any comments, feedback or questions.

Updated data and improved support

We have just gone live with the next release of Community Insight, with updated data and improved support for using the tool.

Data updates: DWP benefit datasets published just before Easter are live on the system, in the reports and interactive maps. The data on unemployment, low income, poor health and disability, and older people social care benefits is now available for August 2012 (the latest data available), with the monthly unemployment claimant count data for Feb 2013.

Support centre and knowledge base: The support centre brings together all the support resources for using Community Insight, including the user guide, frequently asked questions, video tutorials, and the knowledge base. Once you’re logged-in, you can also use the ‘Support’ link on the main menu-bar.

Support videos: We have added more video tutorials showing how to use and manage your Community Insight account. These are linked from the relevant pages, as well as from the support centre. The 2 latest videos added are:


We have an ambitious schedule of new features to be added over the next few months and we’ll be updating this blog with information on the new features, so check back to see what is new.

And as always, do get in touch with any comments or feedback.

Latest updates on Community Insight

We have just gone live with the next release of Community Insight (v1.3), part of our plans to continuously improve the tool for users. New features added recently include:

  • Report on any area, not just those areas in which you have stock – the most commonly requested feature! Users can now get detailed profiles of any area in the country within minutes, simply by drawing a line on the map, uploading postcodes or selecting standard areas. Critical information for those groups wanting to understand the communities and areas they are considering for investment and development.
  • User-guide updated to include the latest features and functionality. You can search or browse through articles here (this will open the Community Insight knowledge base in a new tab)
  • Want to know who is subscribing to Community Insight? The new client page now shows subscribed housing providers, and we’ll keep updated as providers sign-up to the service
  • Minor tweaks and tidies

Thanks again to all those who came to the user group meeting last week (there’s a summary of the event here). We have an ambitious schedule of new features to be added over the next few months, and the user group feedback has helped us plan and prioritise the next stages of development. We’ll be updating this blog with information on the new features, so check back to see what is new.

And as always, do get in touch with any comments or feedback.

Experiences from the Community Insight user group

Event date: Friday 8th March

A big thank you to all those (Affinity Sutton, Circle Housing Group, Devon and Cornwall Homes, One Housing Group, Orchard, Peabody, Sovereign, Symphony and Tower Hamlets) who came to our first Community Insight user group meet last Friday, and the many others who fed in comments for the event.

It was great to meet with everyone, and have so many users involved in the development of Community Insight over the coming months. The event was a great opportunity to share experiences of using Community Insight so far, and explore how to improve the tool to make it a critical part of targeting and evaluating community investment in your organisations.

Below we have put together a round-up of what went on, and what you can expect from Community Insight over the coming months.

How are you using Community Insight?

Critically, Community Insight is being used to support and evidence the community investment decisions being made by housing providers.

Organisations were using Community Insight to identify changes within their neighbourhood and quickly pull up reports to show and share this information.

Users found that they could quickly break down census data without having to trawl through public sites to find the data, saving time and money.

Importantly, users were able to paint a picture of the ‘external factors and drivers’ within their neighbourhoods and communities.

How has your organisation been using Community Insight? Get in touch here if you have any comments.

What next?

A big focus of the first user group meet-up was to establish what users wanted to get out of the tool. The key functionality that users identified were:

Report on areas without stock: Generate data and report on any area by drawing on the map, not just for those areas where people have stock.

Different stock types: Customise property types (general needs, supported housing, etc.), and turn on/off different types on the map and reports.

Neighbourhood dashboard: Explore and compare data for all stock and neighbourhoods. Select which key indicators you would like to view, and how you would like the data to displayed in order to get the best results.

New functionality will be rolled out every two weeks, and all of the above is in development. So if you don’t see it in the next update (due 15th March), you can expect the new functionality to be rolled out over the coming months. Keep an eye on this blog for changes.

And as always, any feedback or comments? Get in touch!

New features on Community Insight

We have just gone live with a new release of Community Insight, part of our plans to continuously improve the tool for users. New features added recently include:

  • More mapped indicators, and an improvement to the indicator menu (more detailed indicators such as ethnic breakdowns and provider-owned and council-owned stock are now grouped under higher-level ‘super’ indicators)
  • The data tables popup now show associated indicators, to give context to the selected indicators
  • We have updated data with the latest from Census 2011. See here for more details
  • Various minor tweaks and tidies.

We have an ambitious schedule of new features to be added to the tool over the next few months, and will be prioritising with users. We’ll be posting about new features on this blog, so check back for news on updates.

Any comments or feedback? Come along to the Community Insight user group meeting next week and meet the team behind the tool. Book your space here or contact us directly.

What is new for Community Insight?

You may have noticed some changes to the Community Insight indicators and data.

We have updated Community Insight with the latest from Census 2011. This not only includes updating the existing indicators, but you will find a series of new Census 2011 indicators.

We have also introduced sub-indicators, enhancing how you navigate around datasets on the Community Insight Map. You are now able to look at underlying breakdowns within one main indicator.

You will find that 23 indicators on the website updated with the 2011 data:

  • White British ethnic group
  • Non-white ethnic group
  • White (Non British) ethnic group
  • People providing intensive unpaid care
  • People with no qualifications
  • People with degree level qualifications
  • Vacant Dwellings
  • Detached housing
  • Semi-detached housing
  • Terraced housing
  • Purpose build flats
  • Flats in a converted house
  • Households with no car
  • Owner occupied housing
  • Housing rented from council
  • Housing rented from a Housing Association
  • Private rented housing
  • Overcrowded housing
  • Houses lacking central heating
  • People with a limiting long-term illness (aged 16-64)
  • Households with multiple needs
  • Dwellings with two rooms or fewer
  • Dwellings with 9 or more rooms

In addition, the website now shows a further 23 new census 2011 indicators:

  • Economically active
  • Economically inactive
  • Full-time employees
  • Part-time employees
  • Self-employed people
  • Flats in a commercial building
  • Caravan or other temporary accommodation
  • Flat, maisonette or apartment
  • Whole house or bungalow
  • Social rented housing
  • Housing owned outright
  • Housing owned with a mortgage or a loan
  • Housing in shared ownership
  • People with a religious belief
  • Christian
  • Buddhist
  • Hindu
  • Jewish
  • Muslim
  • Sikh
  • Other religion
  • People with no religious belief
  • Households with 4+ cars

We hope you are enjoying Community Insight’s great new features. If you have any questions regarding this update, or would like to give us any feedback, then do contact us.