Welcome to the Birmingham City Observatory

Hi, I’m Richard Brooks, Director of Strategy, Equality & Partnerships at Birmingham City Council.

I lead the City Observatory in its mission to unlock meaningful data in Birmingham, alongside a dedicated team of data analysts and policy professionals.

Our aim is to provide a ‘single source of the truth’ about Birmingham, and to support collaboration and innovation around data with a wide range of partners across and beyond our city.

We are at the start of our journey with the observatory and to becoming more transparent through it. The last few months have focussed on building a strong and dedicated team who are committed to producing insights and key datasets which are easily accessible and meaningfully portrayed. You can browse through some of the rich and varied datasets that have already been made available on this platform.

For a city that has a hugely diverse population of over 1.1 million people, open data is vital to opportunities for inclusive growth, improving outcomes for citizens, economic development, tackling inequalities and levelling up.

We want to ensure that decisions relevant to Birmingham are informed by accurate, current data and insight. The Observatory is also intended to help us become a more open and transparent city. We believe the approach can generate many benefits including:

  • Giving people and organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors easier and more direct access to data that is relevant to them.
  • Informing decision making, policy and strategy development as well as supporting improved performance across many organisations.
  • Allows datasets to be combined to create new insights and new value for a wide range of partners
  • Enabling the sharing of data and supporting a community of data users
  • Allowing application developers to use real data about Birmingham more easily.

We aim to collate and publish a range of datasets that you can download and reuse as you see fit.

However, releasing raw data alone is often only part of the solution. That’s why our team of curious minds are committed to providing insights and evidence into key datasets we publish, and to listening to your feedback about what you want to see in the Observatory and how you want to work with us. We hope our work will:

  • Stimulate thinking
  • Encourage collaboration
  • Enrich delivery
  • And drive positive change for citizens

If you want to get involved, collaborate with us, share your ideas and feedback, email us at cityobservatory@birmingham.gov.uk

Happy exploring,

Richard Brooks