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Audit Wales launches poverty data tool


Mark Say Managing Editor

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Audit Wales has released a tool bringing together a range of data to support efforts to alleviate poverty.

The interactive tool, built on Microsoft Power BI, includes key statistics on what the central auditor has described as seven dimensions of poverty: housing, fuel and energy issues, food and water issues, clothing and footwear, finance, exclusion from services and emotional and relationship issues.

It makes it possible to focus on the relevant data for a specific local authority and make comparisons, with options in some cases to filter the data further.

Some of the datasets are more complete than others because there is more publicly available data to draw on, and there is a summary of some key datasets.

Audit Wales’ senior auditor Matt Brushett said in a blogpost that the launch of the tool is aimed at dealing with issues identified in a recent workshop with councils. These included the ability to obtain and report data in real time, and a lack of skilled staff who can interrogate and make best use of the information.

Targeting the response

“Making better use of data is an important part of the solution to reduce poverty, whether that be by identifying those at risk of or in poverty, or in the sharing of data between services to provide a better targeted response to assisting people,” he said, adding:

“Hopefully our tool shines a light on many aspects of poverty bringing all the data together in one place, centred around what we described as the seven dimensions of poverty. Our tool is one step on the path to using poverty data more effectively, but we recognise that using data is often a journey with no end.”

The auditor has recently published a report, Time for change – Poverty in Wales, that found the number of affected people in the country is increasing.

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