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Trying to find useful things to do with emerging technologies in open education

Local Council Spending Data – Time Series Charts

In What Role, If Any, Does Spending Data Have to Play in Local Council Budget Consultations? I started wondering about the extent to which local spending transparency data might play a role in supporting consultation around new budgets.

As a first pass, I’ve popped up a quick application up at http://glimmer.rstudio.com/psychemedia/iwspend2013_14/ [if that's broken, try this one] (shiny code here). You can pass form items in via the URL (except to set the Directorate – oops!), and also search using regular expressions, but at the moment still need to hit the Search button to actually run the search. NOTE – there’s a little bug – you need to hit the Search button to get it to show data; note – selecting All directorates and no filter terms can be a bit slow to display anything…

Examples:

- http://glimmer.rstudio.com/psychemedia/iwspend2013_14/?expensesType=(oil)|(gas)|(electricity)
http://glimmer.rstudio.com/psychemedia/iwspend2013_14/?serviceArea=mainland
http://glimmer.rstudio.com/psychemedia/iwspend2013_14/?supplierName=capita

I’ve started exploring various views over the data, but these need thinking through properly (in particular with respect to finding out views that may actually be useful!)

iw spend music expneses type

Hmm… did the budget change directorate?!

IW spend - music service area

IW spend music suppliers

Some more views over the suppliers tab – I started experimenting with some tabular views in the suppliers tab too…

IW spend music suppliers table 1

IW spend music suppliers table 2

This is all very “shiny” of course, but is it useful? From these early glimpses over the data, can you think of any ways that a look at the spending data might help support budget consultations? What views over the data, in particular, might support such an aim, and what sort of stories might we be able to tell around this sort of data?

Written by Tony Hirst

November 6, 2013 at 11:27 am

Posted in Policy, Rstats

Tagged with ,

3 Responses

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  1. Nice work, but one suggestion: your plots could be easier to read if you used direct labels instead of legends. http://directlabels.r-forge.r-project.org/

    Toby Dylan Hocking

    November 7, 2013 at 4:52 am

    • @toby Thanks – good suggestion; the charts were thrown together as a really quick set of sketches. I’ll try to get the labels sorted next time I get to play with the code:-)

      Tony Hirst

      November 7, 2013 at 11:44 am

  2. […] been doodling around local spending data again recently, noticing as ever that one of the obvious things to do is pull out payments to a […]


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