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6 ways to encourage self-service with Local Insight

Local Insight saves time and money by bringing together all the small area data you need in one place for all the neighbourhoods you care about. The easy to use platform means anybody across your organisation can use the tool to find information about their local communities. This post gives some tips to support self-service across your organisation to ensure Local Insight is being used to its full potential.

Get a public site

A public site is an optional upgrade to a Local Insight subscription. Public sites allow anybody to access the data, areas and reports that you have set up on a View Only basis.

A public site removes the need to set up users with login details, making it quicker and easier to instantly signpost people to the data they need.

You can see existing public sites on our website.

Run internal training sessions

One of the most effective ways to encourage better usage is to run regular internal training sessions for your staff.

You can tailor these to your audiences. For example:

  • Focus on one or two elements of the tool to begin with (such as reports) to help keep it simple and reduce barriers to use
  • Run more in-depth training sessions for colleagues that are likely to use the tool on a regular basis
  • Ensure training on Local Insight is included as part of new staff induction.

You can also take advantage of our monthly webinar programme, which includes regular refresher training as well as ‘deep dives’ into particular datasets or functionality.

Remind people and remind them often

Get into the habit of signposting people to Local Insight when you are asked data questions, rather than answering the question yourself. Depending on the user, you may need to provide a little support – but regular reminders will eventually add up to behavioural change.

Our clients have told us that this works well with voluntary organisations, particularly those that are interested in a very localised area.

The crux of this is to be consistent, remind people regularly and be prepared for this to take time.

Create useful geographies

One of the biggest benefits of Local Insight is being able to create any area you like, regardless of whether it fits to statistical boundaries. 

Do some research and find out what types of areas people are struggling to find data for. Create these in Local Insight and let colleagues know that they have a wealth of data at their fingertips.

Local Insight users have added in all sorts of areas including Local Area Committees, Wards, GP localities and Parishes.

Cross link from your own website and reports

Increase exposure to Local Insight by providing links to Local Insight in your own websites and reports.

Local Insight users have been doing this through:

  • Sharing links on their Open Data Portals (such as Luton Observatory)
  • Making Local Insight a core part of the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) (like Sheffield City Council)
  • Publishing regular newsletters highlighting which new datasets have been added to the tool
  • Using screenshots of the maps within reports and providing a reference and link to the site
  • Adding a link to Local Insight to their email signatures

Repetition, repetition, repetition

Have we mentioned this already?

Keep talking about Local Insight to your colleagues, and support their self-service efforts.

Find your ‘champions’ – the people that are enthusiastic, see the value and will talk about it to the networks.

And keep the “marketing rule of 7” in mind. It is thought that people need to hear a message at least 7 times before taking action, so keep going!


To talk to us about upgrading your subscription to a public site, please email 

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