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The Department of Communities and Local Government in the United Kingdom are carrying out a review of data visualisation – how data is presented and brought to life using charts, graphs, maps, timelines, animations etc – for public sector decision-makers and researchers – and need your help.

The work will identify good practice in visualising data, particularly for:

  • analysing and presenting small area data (eg, below District level)
  • understanding and communicating trends and dynamics over time
  • benchmarking comparisons (between areas, groups and services)

They are looking for good examples of visualisation (we presume world wide) that have:

  • made an impact/ helped communicate findings to decision-makers;
  • helped researchers understand the story behind the data.

The project/website will be an excellent opportunity to show case your own examples of good visualisation, and help contribute to common standards of good practice in the research community. If you have any examples, email them on, or call on 01273 201 345.

The project has been commissioned by the Department of Communities and Local Government, who are looking to understand the potential for visualisations to analyse and communicate data, and provide guidance for national and local analysts on making best use of visualisation.

Work on the project will explore questions including:

  • What visualisations are being used by the public sector? What can we learn from elsewhere?
  • Is there a useful typology (classification) of visualisation techniques for public sector users?
  • How effective are particular types of visualisation in supporting public sector research and decision-making?
  • What are the most appropriate visualisation techniques for particular purposes?

The primary output from the project will be a web application, to help users identify strengths and weaknesses of visualisations for particular purposes, also linking to examples and supporting material.

For further information contact James Geehan, (Project manager), Communities and Local Government, tel: 0207 944 4857, or Tom Smith, (Project lead), OCSI, tel: 01273 201345,

The briefing note is also available for download in PDF format and as a Word document.

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