Research Services

The work of the research team at the IS is divided between managing analytical projects, undertaking bespoke analysis and pursuing independent research projects.

We specialise in complex research projects that often involve sourcing data from multiple systems. Over the last few years we have created a number of analytical products which have helped councils to arrive at informed decisions and harness the power of their internal data.

Our experience and expertise includes:

  • Quantitative and qualitative research and analysis
  • Survey design
  • Development of big data business intelligence products
  • Predictive analytics
  • Developing products with use of open data/linked data architecture
  • Data linkage
  • Advanced data visualisation using Spotfire/Shiny

Independent Analysis

We produce a small number of independent research pieces or publications each year. Visit our publications section to see them.

Business Intelligence

We provide the following free data and intelligence tools to support decision-making:

COVID-19 Economic Impact Dashboard

This tool summarises the publicly available data relating to the current economic impact of COVID-19. It shows, at a Scottish local authority level, the current uptake of government support including:

  • The Coronovarius Job Retention Scheme - Employments Furloughed
  • The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)
  • Unemployment benefit claims
  • The COVID Business Support Grant Fund

This will be of interest to local authorities and other partners in understanding the economic impact in their local area and how this compares to other areas. Data will be updated as it becomes available.

Community Planning Outcomes Profile (CPOP)

The CPOP tool aims to help you assess if the lives of people in your community are improving over time. It provides a set of core measures in important life outcomes including early years, older people, safer/stronger communities, health and wellbeing, and engagement with local communities.  It presents a consistent basis for measuring outcomes and inequalities of outcome in your area.

Population Projections Tool

This app uses the small area population project data from the National Records of Scotland to allow you to easily graph and compare future populations for multiple age groups and the resultant dependency ratio.

Sub-council Area Population Projections

This is a national set of sub-council population projections for small areas within each local authority area in Scotland. These population projections have been developed in collaboration with the National Records of Scotland (NRS) with support from the Universities of Edinburgh and Manchester. The projections use past trends in mortality, fertility, and migration to estimate what the population of an area might look like in the future.

Better information makes for better decisions and therefore better and cheaper services

– Audit Commission 2009


Policies and direction based on rigorous research have the power to be transformational both in service delivery and in outcomes. Poorly constructed and misinformed conclusions, on the other hand, have the potential to lead to inappropriate provision.

We can deliver training and workshops to staff and politicians across councils to help them use evidence to make better decisions. We specialise in:

  • Accessing admin data
  • Data-informed decision making
  • Using data to inform policy

Commissioned work

If you are interested in commissioning research or analysis, please contact the research team directly.

Research Team