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How to use Local Insight

July 2017

Local Insight is an online platform that allows users to access open-source data specific to a Big Local area in a simple and visual way. Data is available on themes such as jobs and economy, population, services and housing.

You can view step by step directions on how to navigate Local Insight here or get an overview below.

The website is offered as a pilot until March 2018 and is available to all people doing Big Local work. If you would like an account or have any questions, please email

What you can do on Local Insight

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After logging in to Local Insight, you are taken to the map view. You can find the list of all Big Local areas under ‘Areas’ and then overlay them with datasets that interest you, found under ‘Data.’ 

You can also find more information about where the data is from and when, and get data for all Big Local areas under ‘Info’ – ‘Data for your areas.’

Another useful feature on Local Insight is to download a report that is available for each Big Local area. Below is an example of the summary page and then the report goes into much greater detail about each theme. 

You can also find historical data in the reports from the graphs that are available for a number of datasets.

How can Local Insight data help you?

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Local Insight data can help you:

  • To develop the Big Local area profile
  • To identify priorities and activities for Big Local plans
  • To review plans and activities as Big Local is delivered locally and report on the impact
  • To learn about what Big Local activities work well or less well
  • To make a case for how services delivered by other organisations are provided
  • To challenge assumptions or start a conversation about the local community

Advice on handling Local Insight data

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An important note on Local Insight is that the figures you will find for Big Local areas are estimates and should not be considered an exact count. Numbers can oversimplify or be misleading when it comes to understanding an issue that is more complicated, so take it with a grain of salt.

The figures are useful to give a broad understanding of the area to use for your Big Local work and if you would like more information about using this data, we’re here to help!

If you are looking for a specific dataset but cannot find it, you can look at a list of all the datasets available on Local Insight. Contact for help accessing the data.

Other data resources

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There is a vast range of national and local data available about local areas. You can view this handout which includes information about existing data as well as resources to help you collect it yourself. 

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