Harnessing open data to understand the communities we work in

By Kavita Tailor - on 10/11/2017


HACT's community insight tool was developed in partnership with Oxford Consultants for Social Inclusion (OSCI). The tool provides instant neighborhood and community profiles for housing providers, drawing on the very latest and most up to date sources covering major social and economic indicators.

Community Insight means you can be sure your projects, services and interventions are underpinned by the best possible knowledge of local communities and have true community impact. The tool can be harnessed for providing high-level visualisations for Boards to detailed reports on local neighborhoods. See below to check out how A2 Dominion and The Campaign to End Loneliness utilised Community Insight to shape and drive their strategies.

A2 Dominion

A2 Dominion strives to improves people's lives through quality homes and services. One of the ways it does this is through improving the health and wellbeing of all its tenants. A2 Dominion wished to develop an organisational health and wellbeing strategy and commissioned HACT to undertake research and evaluation looking at the work it currently does across its neighborhoods­­­.  

Using Community Insight, HACT undertook analysis of key population data, concentrating on the top 10 local authorities where A2 Dominion works. HACT created community profiles, establishing key issues, challenges and opportunities. Using Community Insight meant that A2 Dominion could understand particular issues in each of their localities, and as a subscriber could revisit those areas over time to see what has changed. This was important for particular areas like Westminster, the fourth most unequal borough in London.

Campaign to End Loneliness (CtEL)

In the UK there are an estimated 1.1 million people over the age of 65 who are chronically lonely. For many years housing associations have been building homes and providing services to tackle lonliness. From sheltered housing and extra care schemes to retirement villages, all aiming to encourage social interaction, boost wellbeing and help older people remain independent and socially engaged.

In relation to this, the CtEL have launched the Mission Million report. CtEL advocate using data to inform decision making and in light of this they harnessed the power of Community Insight. A key challenge for CtEL was being able to access, analyse and map an issue such as loneliness. Community Insight allowed CtEL to create and geographically map a bespoke theme of loneliness indicators such as, pensioners in poverty, one person households, people arriving the UK aged 65+ and widowed persons. Below is an example of how when comparing a number of indicators of loneliness in Sussex, CtEL were able to identify how different neighborhoods had higher rates of potential isolation (older people living alone or widowed) whilst other had higher rates of poor health and poverty. Identifying this, meant tailored strategies were adopted at a local level to address loneliness. 

If you'd like to know more about Community Insight click here or contact insight@hact.org.uk

Community Insight

Add new comment