Digital Birmingham is a Birmingham City Council initiative and part of a city wide strategic partnership of more than 40 public, private and voluntary organisations
The Birmingham Civic Dashboard receives a report of the requests that come in from members of the public for services from Birmingham City Council each day. It then produces a number of visualisations of that data, such as showing them on a map. Residents are also able to comment on the trends that emerge giving an on-the ground perspective on particular issues.
The original aim was to make public, data relating to what issues people are reporting to the council. The belief being that when looked at on a map and in real-time the accumulation of data would provide and insight into the issues facing both the citizens of Birmingham and the council itself as it responds to the issues raised.
The site uses data which comes from Birmingham City Council's Customer Relationship Management systems. These are big systems which a lot of the council's employees use in their daily work. It would be difficult and expensive to get at that data in real-time, so we get a big update delivered once a day (by an automatic task that's run overnight) instead.
The pilot website is part of 'Make it Local', a pioneering project run by the National Endowment for Science, Technology & the Arts (NESTA). The Dashboard was co-developed by Digital Birmingham and digital production company Mudlark.