Nottingham Insight

10 reasons to increase transparency

Informing and enpowering

Providing data about our services, including how we spend money, allocate resources, prioritise our work and make decisions is key to helping inform and empower you the public.

We want to provide the public with the opportunity to question our decisions, be involved in consultations and understand how we prioritise the differing demands for goods and services.   

We have now made over 100 datasets available on Open Data Nottingham, providing access to a wide range of services provided by Nottingham City Council. 

We make our information available online as much as possible, through the main council website, as well as other sites such as;

Intelligent decision-making

Providing access to data will help us all understand the needs and requirements of a local area better. We may anecdotally know that an area is deprived, has a high population turnover or is well-served by public transport, however it is only by gathering intelligence about an area that we can evidence this.

As more datasets are published, we have access to an ever-increasing wealth of information. We can then cross reference data or join datasets to add even further value.

Our Nottingham City Infographic provides an overview of the city

My area provides a more detailed view of the city and its wards.


Drive innovation

Providing access to datasets in different formats (for example: KML, JSON, CSV) helps support the digital economy of the city, providing opportunities for developers, programmers and other digital companies to be innovative how data is used. Creating data visualisations and developing web applications provides new audiences for the data.

A number of events are regularly taking place around Nottingham to bring different groups together to transfer knowledge, ideas and drive forward innovation. Some examples are shown below:-

Examples of web applications are available on the Open Data Nottingham application gallery.

If you have developed an app that you would like to share, please contact us via our feedback form.



Increase efficiency

By providing easy access to one definitive version of the data, where we can signpost the public, colleagues and other interested parties via Open Data Nottingham, we are able to increase efficiency. We also have a schedule for publishing our data, which is useful for keeping updated.

We can review the data and improve on the data quality and data collection. This can help identify where there are gaps in the data and improvements can be made.  

We are always open to suggestions as to how we can make improvements, deliver better services, or publish new datasets. Please contact us using our feedback form.    





Develop trust

Being more transparent helps develop trust between Nottingham City Council, the public and colleagues. We want to be open about how decisions have been reached, how we spend our money and how we allocate resources.

Open data helps foster trust between teams within the council or externally. By being open and transparent, we are providing an open forum for discussion and empowering the public.  

Improve data quality

By publishing our information, we are enabling people to utilise the data, which means greater scrutiny of the data we make available. Data quality is often improved through information scrutiny.

For example: identifying gaps in the data, publishing datasets in different formats, or explaining the detail of the data (metadata). 

We have a number of tools and automated processes we can implement to improve data quality and the process of data collection. If you would like to discuss data quality improvements or have comments about data quality and reliability and welcome feedback.





Save time and money

Publishing data on Open Data Nottingham can save time and money.

Publishing data reduces the amount of time spent answering individual Freedom of Information requests. We can signpost requestors to the data and advise when an update will be due, or people can self-serve the information. We have a schedule for publishing data.

Improvements to data quality also saves a significant amount of time and money. Streamlining data processes increases the reliability of the data.

Answers information requests (FOI)

Publishing our data on Open Data Nottingham can help reduce the numbers of direct requests for information, such as Freedom of Information requests. If the data is already published, people can find this information for themselves or we can direct people to our website and advise them of when the next data update is due.

If the data is not yet published but we intend to publish we can advise people that we have an intention to publish the data in the future. This can significantly reduce the time spent answering direct requests.

If we receive lots of requests for the same data we will try and publish this data on a regular basis. Datasets that have been published include :


Promote service improvement

Transparency helps service improvement. Sharing, or even simply analysing our information, can help us determine what services are working well or what ones could be improved, and how we can improve them. Being open about how we reach decisions, spend our money can lead to suggestions as to how we can make improvements or deliver better services.




Share knowledge

Only by publishing our data and reaching as wide an audience as possible are we able to share knowledge. We do not want knowledge and data to stay within individual teams but extend this as far as possible. 

Sharing knowledge will lead to creativity and innovation, new ways of interpreting the data, and improvements in the way we work and deliver services.