FAQ

In this FAQ section you can find background details about LG Inform. For more details on the individual sections of LG Inform please go to the pages shown on the left hand side.

If you have any further questions or comments please add them to the feedback form.

Background information

Is it a performance management system, a benchmarking system or a data analysis system?

After considerating council feedback, the LGA has designed LG Inform with all three aspects in mind. The metrics in LG Inform include national data sets that compare local performance against the national picture. We are encouraged that councils have expressed an interest in uploading their own local metrics and sharing these with other councils, similar to a ‘benchmarking club'. LG Inform also contains tools to interrogate the metrics to present and analyse data: for example, bar charts; maps; tables; pie charts and so on. These ‘components' can be dropped into a customised report so that information can be shared with colleagues or through social media tools.

Could we use this as our internal performance management system?

One objective of LG Inform is to save council resources. LG Inform can be used to support performance management. Over time, we would envisage the sector being able to develop LG Inform to become their sole performance management system should they so wish.

Why would we use this if we have our own data now?

There are a number of benefits that will accrue to organisations and users when using LG Inform. Firstly, it is designed so that data is being made more readily accessible to officers and members in a single place with alerts to notify users when key data sets are updated. This single point of focus will alleviate the burden and wasted effort of searching and checking.

Secondly, users will be able to see where the trusted source is for the data, thus promoting confidence. Organisations will be able to access new data and share their own data in a secure environment to facilitate knowledge exchange and promote improvement.

How is this going to help me improve?

Firstly, LG Inform allows officers and councillors to explore their council's performance in a range of ways, and identify areas needing attention. Secondly, it gives comparisons with other councils who might be performing better, and provides a learning opportunity.

Isn't this a new National Indicator Set?

Absolutely not. The NIS was a top-down imposition, driven by central government departments. This is a council driven, bottom-up initiative, to promote our own performance and productivity. The only indicators will be those that councils have agreed to, and choose to use.

Won't this cost me money at a time when I am supposed to be saving?

No. The basic service will be free to authorities, as it is funded by the LGA from Revenue Support Grant. In terms of taking time to collect data, where possible the data will be collected nationally on councils' behalf; data will only be collected locally and reported where the councils and fire and rescue services agrees it is important to them in managing their processes.

Won't this be a reputational risk for my authority if we appear ‘low down' in comparisons?

Comparisons will be designed to help councils, not create newspaper headlines. No one wants to recreate spurious 'league tables'. It is likely that transparency will increase over time as councils get comfortable with what they are tracking.

Isn't this just some technical tool that will be too complex to understand?

This is being designed with members and officers to ensure it meets everyone's needs appropriately. LG Inform has been designed around these users, and our aim is to be as intuitive as online banking and mobile phone ‘apps' are today.

Why is the LGA doing this?

Authorities have asked us to help support performance and productivity by providing services that the sector should only do once. The LGA is doing its part by creating a free and open service, which can help every authority do the day job better.

Won't LG Inform simply add burden to the sector?

The bulk of the data within LG Inform is published data, which authorities have already reported, so there is no additional reporting burden. LG Inform valuably brings the most up-to-date data together. Over time the data within LG Inform will be supplemented by, or replaced by, data items that councils and fire and rescue services themselves have identified as useful and chosen to use.

We have lots of benchmarking clubs and tools already, why will this be better?

This is a free service, co-designed by the sector which can, should the authorities wish, also help deal with public demands for transparency and cover local issues relating to place, organisation and services. Where possible, the service links to or incorporates existing resources, rather than duplicates them. Future developments will be in response to requests from the sector.

My council does not allow access to social networking sites on its network. Will this restrict my potential usage of LG Inform?

LG Inform is an online application but not a social networking site. Councils with access to the current Knowledge Hub platform will be able to access LG Inform.

How do I access LG Inform?

You can access a wide range of data and reports from LG Inform without registration through this link - http://lginform.local.gov.uk/

Users from councils and fire and rescue services can also choose to register with LG Inform which will enable them to access additional functionality such as create their own custom reports and personalise their user profile.

Registration is via the button on the top right of this page. Through this you will be taken to a registration page; once you have completed this page you will be sent an e-mail from esd-toolkit support (lginform@esd.org.uk) asking you to verify your account, once you have done this you will be able to access LG Inform.

What is the best browser to use for LG Inform?

We have built LG Inform so that it works in all modern browsers. We have worked hard to make sure the experience users’ have are the same in all browsers, although, as with all data visualisations websites the older browsers such as IE7 and IE8 might experience a slight delay when loading a data rich page such as a report with maps.

 

WIN XP

WIN VISTA

WIN 7

MAC 10.6

MAC 10.7

Chrome

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Firefox

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Safari

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Opera

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

IE9

Yes

Yes

Yes

NA

NA

IE8

Yes

Yes

Yes

NA

NA

IE7

Yes

Yes

NA

NA

NA

 
A piece of development will be undertaken to further improve browser performance.

Will there be a mobile version of LG Inform?

LG Inform can be viewed on mobiles and tablets but some of the advanced functionality of the system is not yet supported on these devices. In the forth coming year we are going to spend some time talking to users to see how they would use LG Inform and if a mobile version would be of use. We will be looking at how practical this would be and what areas of the site we could usefully display on a mobile. Currently the site can be used on computers and tablets and we will keep this under review.