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The Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics Project

Catriona McKay, Scottish Executive
Willie Meikle, Edina Software
John Maslen, Geowise.

A joint meeting with the Royal Statistical Society

Wednesday 19th November 2003, 6:30 pm

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society, 36 York Place, Edinburgh EH1 3HU (street map)

Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics is a major project to transform the data held by the Scottish Executive for local areas in Scotland. The Scottish Executive is working with the Office for National Statistics (ONS), and the administrations in Wales and Northern Ireland to create a neighbourhood statistics service across the UK, with the Scottish system reflecting differences in the education and legal systems.

Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics provides figures on Scotland's local areas for local authorities, electoral wards, and postcodes. It provides information on health, education, poverty, unemployment, housing, population, crime and social / community issues. The ethos of the project is that data is made available for the smallest areas possible and that has involved building partnerships with other information providers and users including local authorities, health boards and the voluntary sector.

Users of the service can obtain a quick profile report for a local area in Scotland or can choose a local area and create standard or custom reports and maps comparing statistical data from multiple sources.

Providing such a diverse range of data across different geographies and different time frames provided many challenges to the project. These covered areas of multi-organisation liaison, data collection and administration, quality assurance, on-going data maintenance, user interface design, statistical validity and technical infrastructure. The three speakers from Communities Scotland, Edina Software and GeoWise will outline these challenges and how were overcome in delivering a truly joined-up government service based around Scotland's geography.