Get the most out of your data - A Workshop for Local Authorities

Thursday, 12th November 2015
9:30am - 3:30pm
Kelvin Suite, Hilton Glasgow Grosvenor, Glasgow, UK

This workshop aims to increase local authorities’ understanding of how best to interrogate complex urban data to inform the development of effective programmes and policies.

The workshop will explore:

  • Why big data is important for urban planning and city management
  • The data services, research support and training opportunities the UBDC provides local authorities
  • How local authorities can increase their impact on cities by sharing urban data
  • Information about data available through the UBDC and how it can be accessed
  • Guided discussion regarding challenges to local authorities that could benefit from big data research or analysis
  • Urban data demonstrations, including geospatial and transport data
  • Opportunities to ask questions and share ideas with UBDC staff

This free workshop is open to any employee of a UK council. We are looking for participants from a range of local authorities across the UK, from a variety of departments and policy areas who want to maximise their impact by fully exploiting the opportunities provided by urban data.



Morning session: Big data and local authorities

9:30am – 10:00am  Registration Sign-In

  • Coffee/tea and pastries provided

10:00am – 10:20am  Welcome and Introduction, Professor Piyushimita (Vonu) Thakuriah

  • What is big data?
  • Why is big data important for urban planning and city management? 

10:20am – 10:50am  UBDC Services for Local Authorities, Professor Nick Bailey and Des McNulty

  • What data and research services does the UBDC provide local authorities?
  • What training opportunities are there for local authorities?
  • How does the UBDC manage confidential data?
  • How can local authorities make an impact on cities by sharing urban data? 

10:50am – 11:00am  Introduction to UBDC Data Service, UBDC IT Team

  • What type of data services does the UBDC provide?

11:00am – 11:45am  Breakout Sessions (Led by various UBDC staff)

  • Participants break into three smaller groups with UBDC staff divided between them:
    • Participants provide feedback and thoughts on what would be useful to them in a data service
    • Local authority representatives share 1-2 relevant challenges they are facing that may be amenable to big data research or analysis. UBDC staff will map out the challenges and lead discussion on next steps and potential research projects.
 11:45am – 12:10pm Present to group
  • Each of the three breakout groups present to all participants, in 5-7 minute summaries of their discussion around key challenges/potential projects.

12:10pm – 12:30pm Q&A

  • An opportunity for all participants to ask questions about the breakout session presentations.

12:30pm – 1:30pm  Break for lunch

  • Buffet lunch and refreshments provided


Afternoon session: Urban data demonstrations

1:30pm – 2:00pm  Geo-spatial data demonstration

2:00pm – 2:20pm  Q&A 

2:20pm – 2:50pm  Transport data demonstration

  • Dr David McArthur will present ongoing research on urban accessibility, in which a big data approach is being devleoped, including geographic visualisations of traffic sensor data. Dr Jinhyun Hong will discuss ongoing research on relationships between travel behaviour, ICT use and the built environment.

2:50pm – 3:10pm  Q&A

3:10pm – 3:30pm  Closing remarks, Professor Piyushimita (Vonu) Thakuriah

Coffee, tea and refreshments available following the event.