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New Scotland’s Census Website to Improve Public Data Access

Ross Kelly

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Scotland's census

The census takes place once every 10 years and the information gathered helps to build a picture of the country.

An Edinburgh digital consultancy has partnered with the National Records of Scotland (NRS) to develop a public beta version of the Scotland’s Census results website.

The launch of the new website means that for the first time the public can search, filter and view the outputs of the census data in new ways.

Storm ID helped develop the website ahead of the census, which is set to take place in 2022. The upcoming census is predicted to see most responses made online.

The census takes place once every 10 years and the information gathered helps to build a picture of the country.

Information gathered by the census is then used to inform important decisions made by government and other service providers. The upcoming census was due to take place this year but was moved due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

This latest census will include new questions about trans status, sexual orientation, British Sign Language, passports held and previous armed forces service.

Linsey Lydon, Client Services Director at Storm ID, said the new functionality will help bring the census firmly into the 21st century and provide more detailed insights for citizens.

“The Scotland’s Census Website is a key tool to inform and assist decision makers,” she said.

“The entire project team at Storm ID has enjoyed collaborating with National Records of Scotland in developing new features and functionality to support users. We’re looking forward to deepening our partnership with NRS through other digital first projects.”

The new census site is split into two primary sections, with the first enabling users to easily search and filter data from 2001 and 2011 census data sets.

This particular feature lets users search by year, location or topic and includes functionality to compare data samples for similar topics from different years or locations.

The second section doubles as an informational guide about the census itself and will include details on what the census is, why it started and how data is collected. It will also contain vital privacy information on how census data is used.

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Pete Whitehouse, Director of Statistical Services at NRS, said user-friendliness is a key advantage of the new site and will help build a more comprehensive picture of how modern Scotland looks.

“Scotland’s Census provides a snapshot of the nation. The data collected is a hugely valuable resource for people and organisations across Scotland, and beyond,” he said.

“The Scotland’s Census outputs website is our main tool for making high quality data available, so it’s vital that the site is modern, accessible and user-friendly.

“The beta version of the new site showcases intuitive new tools which allow users to search for census data on a wide range of topics and perform comparisons between different areas of Scotland. We look forward to continuing our work with users and adding even more functionality to the site ahead of Scotland’s Census in 2022,” Whitehouse added.

Ross Kelly

Staff Writer

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