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Better together! Why is LARIA right for you?

Thursday 6 December 2018 Data Insight & AnalyticsDemographic Data

Stewart Eldridge's picture
By Stewart Eldridge

Research and intelligence in collaboration for better decision making

The call for papers has just been issued by the Local Area Research and Intelligence Association (LARIA) ahead of their annual conference in Birmingham in May. We’re really excited to be involved again, particularly in light of this year’s theme - ‘Better Together! Research and Intelligence in collaboration’. Not only are we seeing more and more public sector organisations working more collaboratively we’re increasingly being asked how demographic data and segmentation can be adopted to support research.

In many cases, researchers work in isolation. Attending the regional, one-day or annual conferences allows people to meet counterparts from across the country who do the same or similar sort of work. Delegates can learn lessons from other people who’ve tackled a similar challenge or problem while at the same time offer a chance to discuss research projects with the author rather than just reading about them.

The LARIA Annual Conference is principally designed as a forum to share knowledge and ideas through a wide variety of presentations and workshops. Organisations showcase projects and case studies while at the same time encouraging the audience to consider how research and evidence can be used for better decision making. This kind of format raises the profile of the work research teams do and every session gives delegates something new to think about.

As well as offering delegates the opportunity to network and share best practice, the annual conference is a good way to learn new techniques, pick up tips and uncover sources of information you may not be aware is available.

In the new data environment LARIA members, their partners and the wider sector are increasingly making use of blended data – open, administrative and commercial sources – as a way of underpinning decision-making associated with prioritisation of resources and service delivery.

We’re also seeing more and more evidence of multi-partner collaboration which ultimately leads to more improved outcomes and efficiency saving.

The blended data approach and collaborative working also means that researchers are now commonly asking ‘so what?’ and ‘what next?’. It is exactly these types of questions that allow us to understand more about the challenges faced by local government. At previous conferences the main topic of discussion has been focused on the challenges of making use of relevant data and intelligence particularly in connection with future planning. Taking account of this, we’ve been looking at ways LARIA members and the wider public sector, could better predict the future.

This year, we’re excited to be sharing developments associated with Acorn Longevity and Acorn Futures. Acorn Longevity looks at life expectancy and the soon to be released Acorn Futures focuses on how a person or an area changes over time in accordance with changes to their demographic, lifestyle and behavioural characteristics.

If you’d like to meet peers who do the same or similar work as you, if you’d like to learn more about how others have tackled a similar challenge your facing or if you’d simply like to understand more about the way data and intelligence is being used to support research then why not sign up to attend the LARIA Annual Conference in Birmingham on 14 – 15th May 2019. 

To find out more click the following link -

How to choose the right data source for local authority decision-making

CACI and LARIA have teamed up to produce this useful guide to help local authorities understand how to blend Government Open Data with owned public sector and commercial data sources, to achieve a detailed and up-to-date picture of your community.


We're seeing more and more public sector organisations working more collaboratively and we’re increasingly being asked how demographic data and segmentation can be adopted to support research.

Better together! Why is LARIA right for you?