Goodbye to old friends and hello to the new

As of 12 May 2017, the Neighbourhood Statistics and Data Explorer (beta) web services will close. The Neighbourhood Statistics website has been offering small area data for over a decade and at its launch was probably one of the most innovative government statistical services of its time. The Data Explorer (beta) played a significant role in disseminating the 2011 Censuses and aimed to provide a fuller role in disseminating data from the wider organisation too.

These tools offered greater flexibility for building custom data tables, interacting with data visually and mechanically serving data through application programming interfaces. We are proud of what these platforms have offered users over the years. However, we need to be pragmatic and look for leaner and more sustainable methods of providing these services in the future.

Also, continuing to offer our users several dissemination platforms to access our data is not helpful. Rationalising the number of services we provide will have benefits for our internal support teams but more importantly we recognise that users want us to simplify the journey to our statistical data.

To offset these closures, we are aiming to instead meet the needs of our users via continued development of our website. This will include the integration of data exploration functionality to form one consistent service. An Alpha version of this, showcasing the main functionality is being tested in March and April 2017 and a high fidelity Beta is in the pipeline for later in the year.

But this note is about the old guard, the tools that blazed the trail. The knowledge we gained about what it means to provide an online data service has been invaluable in the development of the new system.

So, thank you old friends.

3 comments on “Goodbye to old friends and hello to the new”

  1. Data, data, data! Why is there such a obsession with data of all sorts? Isn’t it obvious to all that there are too many people to be served in such a small country as the UK? Isn’t it obvious that there is a mega-rich elite who have everything at their disposal?
    In London, and probably to some extent in other cities,it is like living in a permanent building site. No-one just enjoys their town or city any more.
    What has data-gathering contributed to the population’s happiness?
    Forward planning – that one imagines is a reason for data-gathering – is all very well but the here and now is what matters to most mortals.
    The publication of statistics invariably adds to the gloom.
    I

  2. 1. I should like to see some statistics re how the amount of housing development that has taken place in very recent years has contributed to the housing shortage. The feverish activity in the property development/construction industry has resulted in ……?….. homes, but of those homes how many have not been bought for investment, often by foreign interests.

    2. I should like to see statistics on how much land in cities has been ‘stolen’ by large transport infrastructure projects and what input of money from the government (i.e. the people) as been put to such projects.

    3. I should like to see some statistics re how much land is taken by huge estates and what subsidies have gone into those big estates from various sources (i.e. our national government and the EU)

  3. Darren

    I’m surprised NeSS is being retired before at least a like for like replacement is fully functioning. Even more so in the GE run-up when its user base may be visiting/returning. I know the data is not current but surely it still has an (albeit declining) number of customers who will suffer a loss of service? Where will customers be redirected – nomis possibly?

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