Research Services

Needs analysis

Understand the challenges of an area and build a narrative

Data landscape

Knowledge of small area data availability and quality

Measures of need

Develop new, robust indicators and insight about local areas

Area classifications

Identify patterns and trends to create local area typologies

Apply knowledge and understanding of data about neighbourhoods

Our team are experts in neighbourhood level data and can help you be confident in the data and analysis you are basing decisions on.

All our projects are based on in-depth knowledge of:

  • Data availability across a range of socio-economic themes
  • Whether data is robust and suitable for use at different geographic levels
  • How indicators are constructed and what that means for how they can be used
  • What exactly the data measures (and what it does not)
  • Working with and building custom geographies

Bring together the strategic big picture as well as the local detail

We know it’s important to understand the overall story about an area without masking hyper-local challenges. We bring the two together by:

  • Presenting key challenges with breakdowns and analysis for different geographies 
  • Being clear on what data can tell you and what it cannot
  • Identifying local focus areas for intervention
  • Highlighting the local areas with the most acute needs
  • Making connections between national and regional challenges and the impact at local level

Identify important issues and patterns from large data sets

There is a lot of data out there. Our team works to sort the noise from the important issues, so you can focus on making change happen.

We build comprehensive and evidence-based narratives to help target resources by:

  • Showing where trends are statistically significant 
  • Making links across different indicators and how they impact on each other
  • Knowing what can and can’t be compared
  • Using appropriate data visualisations

Produce evidenced-based, robust measures of need

We don’t just analyse existing data. We work with and combine indicators to develop new measures of need and provide new insights.

We use our expertise to:

  • Weight, combine, standardise and transform pre-existing data
  • Source and select the most relevant data
  • Explore how indicators interact and what can be compared
  • Work on high profile, national research like English Indices of Deprivation and Community Needs Index.
choropleth map of Essex County and its Community Needs Index scores

Case studies

Left-behind neighbourhoods in Essex – A case study

This case study looks at a consultancy review project commissioned by Essex…

Project Spotlights

Hounslow Equality Impact

Aims: Hounslow Council asked us to provide a quantitative community profile of…

Project Spotlights

Data Dive – The early impact of COVID-19 in ‘left-behind’ neighbourhoods

Aims: Local Trust commissioned OCSI to carry out a ‘data dive’ into…

Project Spotlights

Hertfordshire Matters

Aims: Hertfordshire Community Foundation (HCF) commissioned OCSI to develop a needs analysis…