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Birmingham City Council unveils open data platform


Mark Say Managing Editor

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View of Birmingham city centre
Birmingham city centre
Image source: E Jones

Birmingham City Council has launched its City Observatory open data platform.

It has been developed by the council’s insight, policy and strategy team in collaboration with Birmingham City University to provide a ‘single source of truth’ about the city, making data available for download and re-use to support collaboration and innovation.

Programme manager Pye Nyunt said on LinkedIn that the platform provides large quantities of data and insight that supports the city's Levelling Up Strategy and the Grand Challenges in the council's corporate plan.

Datasets available so far include one on the council's property assets, household characteristics in Birmingham, and local child poverty rates after housing costs.

It also includes dashboards to provide the public with insights from the council, with early ones including local details from the National Census of 2021, a suite of metrics on city outcomes, an automated feed on air quality across the city, and a financial resilience data model.

Start of journey

Birmingham’s director of strategy, equality and partnerships, Richard Brooks, said: “We are at the start of our journey with the observatory and to becoming more transparent through it.

“The last few months have focused on building a strong and dedicated team who are committed to producing insights and key datasets which are easily accessible and meaningfully portrayed.”

The council has also invited feedback on how the dashboards work and improving the data.

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