Indices of deprivation available as 5* Linked data

England Indices of deprivation data available as 5* Linked Data

The Department for Communities and Local Government has released the English indices of deprivation 2015 in linked data format on the OpenDataCommunities platform.  Full details are available in the blog here.

The ODC team and I are very interested in your experiences of using the data and tools. Here’s some links (with more signposted in the blog)

Neighbourhood-level data:

Local authority district level data:

Postcodes look-up tools:

I’m a passionate advocate of Open and Linked data and using data to discover things and make more effective decisions. I’d really like to hear your stories of what you used the data for and how you used the data. Any other feedback of what has been provided would be warmly received (so long as it’s constructive).


Contact us here:

Martin Waudby: or


  1. Comment by exstat posted on

    Does this mean that the data themselves are of 5* quality?  Or that the way in which they have been made available is 5* in terms of Open Data principles?  The way it is put in the thread title implies it is the former; the heading within the actual post implies the latter.

    Not suggesting it is remotely the case here but the combination of low data quality and super duper open data dissemination results in a low quality open dataset. Possibly worse than a low quality difficult to reuse dataset simply because it is so easy to plug into something else!

    • Replies to exstat>

      Comment by Owen Boswarva posted on

      It *is* a bit confusing. The title should probably be "indices of deprivation as 5* open data" or "indices of deprivation as 5* linked data"; either would be accurate. I don't think there's a 5* scale for data quality.

      TimBL's original post on this subject actually encompasses two related but distinct 5* systems, one for open data and another for linked data (and notes that you can have 5* linked data without it being open).

      -- Owen Boswarva, 23/10/2015

  2. Comment by exstat posted on


    I don't think there is a star rating for data quality either but the user could well be led to believe that there is and that the dataset quality is (to use a highly technical expression) the bees' knees.

    There is however a National Statistics accreditation process.  This itself can suffer from the same issue of being about process rather than the data themselves but some datasets have had accreditation withdrawn because of doubts about quality.  The statistical release from DCLG has the National Statistics (NS) branding and also has a section on data quality.  The posting, the blog and the other links that I have looked at make no reference to NS or quality issues.  Nor does it contain a link (that I can see) to the statistical release or anything else that actually says something about data quality (there might be something if I drill down far enough but life is too short).  I'm suggesting that these matters should be given more attention and not drowned out by openness considerations. 

    To draw a (rather bad) analogy, would I value a news website purely on the basis of how good it looks and how easy it is for me to reuse the information it contains?  No, I'd give priority to a website which actually gave me detailed and unbiased news.  Nor would I put much weight on a comparison website which recommended things just because they looked nifty. A second analogy - I was looking at a box set of CDs on Amazon the other day.  I'm not revealing the act, except to say it wasn't One Direction or the wife of the Chinese president!  All the reviews were 4* or 5* (great music, rarities etc. etc.) except one which was 1*, purely on the basis of the flimsiness of the box!

  3. Comment by MWaudby posted on

    No it doesn’t mean the data is of 5* quality, it is 5* linked data. The title is not of my choosing and is a victim of process – the process for publishing blogs (I have submitted a change to the title for moderation review). There isn’t a 5*  quality rating for data that’s highly subjective (detailed in the better than expected analogy) above)


    The question of quality vs openness isn’t binary, it surely comes down to which is easier to rectify. Consumer led demand would surely drive quality improvement and ease of use.


    This article is to raise awareness of the data on OpenDataCommunities as is the full blog. The blog points to the official release on with a plethora of information about the statistical release and data. Hope that clarifies things .  

  4. Comment by exstat posted on


    Thanks for the response. Always a good move to blame the sub-editor!  In this case, presumably, the open data evangelists in charge of I am not knocking the evangelism as such, as the open data movement is one of the great advances of recent years, but sometimes the impression is given that their own particualr element of the jhigsaw is the only one that counts.

    I think I must have managed to miss the link to the NS release in the blog, thoiugh I think there is a case for including it in what gets submitted to this site as well.  I agree that it is not an either/or on (data) quality vs openness.  Judgements about quality are difficult; it is often a matter of whether the data are "fit for (main) purpose" but with open data we sometimes have no idea which are going to be the most important applications. In many ways that is the beauty of open data.  For the IMDs, there are three aspects of quality to consider that I can think of - is the choice of indicators adequate for purpose? how good is the quality of each individual indicator? how appropriate is the weighting that has been given to each indicator? So it would be particularly hard to distil one quality indicator out of that, beyond the obvious point that the smaller the area, the greater the range of error. But, as you have probably gathered, I was really using this specific blog to make a more general point.


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