#32 August 2021 News

Dear friends, colleagues and other people

As another summer is drawing to a close, we are ushering in Autumn with an apology. This edition of our newsletter is – at the time of typing – 8 days late. The reason for the tardiness? – well…..

Excuse number 1 – we have been very busy working on our new platform and, of course, (said shamelessly) delivering lots of wonderful data driven solutions to clients.

(More accurately) Excuse number 2 – I spent 6 weeks of the summer in sunny Cyprus, hiding from the deluge (other verbs are available) of domestic visitations to the English Riviera. The evasion not being the primary purpose (more a handy by-product), but the trip is mentioned mainly to elicit some sympathy on account of the perpetual 30+ degrees (day and night) as well as – and this really is particularly bad – the need to be working for 5 weeks of that time whilst staring through the window at the sun, pool and mediterranean beyond (in that order).

Arriving at a house that had been empty for 2 years and was, literally, empty. My Greek is on the wrong side of terrible, so with some kindness (and generally excellent English) from the locals – plus the typical but unnecessary pointing and loud enunciation – the place was fitted out with tables, chairs, fridge and other fripperies in a matter of days. All that was left thereafter was to – literally – hide under the aircon unit, balancing the workload on a laptop and generally wondering what time it was acceptable to jump into the aforementioned pool and subsequently occupy a space next to it whilst helping to support some of the (excellent) local vineyards. This particular lifestyle – as it turns out – was not especially suited to the couple of hours of focused thought necessary to produce a meaningful missive!

Excuses dispatched, let’s move on to things you may actually care about:

Updates:

Following on from the May elections, all Councillor data has – of course – been updated, as well as leadership positions. We are also making good progress through the cabinet and committee structures and reorganisations post AGM’s and expect these to be completed this month.

To better reflect our recent work across the Schools database – as mentioned in the previous edition, we have been particularly focused on expanding out the MAT coverage, both in terms of postholder coverage and also ensuring the linkages between schools and parent bodies are as they should be – we have updated our Schools datasheet with a new overview/description

Much work of late has been done across the NHS database, particularly of note here is the continued transitions of STP’s to ICS’s – as regular users will know, these now exist as org types on the database and the coverage across these is continuing to increase. Updates also continue across the consolidated CCG’s as the boundaries/areas continue to move closer to the 44 footprint areas.

We have been busy on the PRP/Housing Association side, we are now ingesting a number of new data feeds from Government published sources to help benchmark both the coverage and relationships between these complex organisations and (more on this next time) we’re working towards a comprehensive organisational and structural re-categorisation of this file.

More general updates have been made across all our Healthcare, Education and Government datasets as reflected in the following table showing changes across the database in the past 60 days:

New:

As some of you may have discovered, we have a new switchboard phone number: 0330 128 9892

The old 0845 number will continue to function for the next 12 months, but worth noting the new one.

After 12 years of the old one, we have a new logo (after much angst, we’re very pleased with the new look). You can now see this in the header of the blog and on the website. This will also feature on our forthcoming platform.

Interesting:

Digital Focus – one of the things we do (and have successfully managed to keep quiet) are a range of digital marcom services – I should add that these newsletters are not a platform to try and sell you anything, but I wanted to share some recent campaign and digital content results to both try and counter our poor attempt at telling people about these services and also because we’re pleased and proud of the results!

We send our regular emails for a University client. As with all email comms, the key elements are relevance and content – so, kudos to them for the following stats:

Delivered: 7135 (98.55%)
Displayed: 6360 (88.9%)
Clicks: 6279 (98.7%)

The following show the results for another client from our PSN platform who we helped to create a number of articles and featured in our monthly Public Sector facing newsletter

Articles Created: 6
Web Article Views: 4105
Newsletter Clicks: 2544

On that positive note, that almost wraps it up for this time. As a final thought for those pondering a protracted mediterranean sojourn, I would say 3 things:

1 – Do it
2 – Don’t go in August
3 – Write any newsletters you may be responsible for before you leave!

James and team at Oscar
0330 128 9892
hello@oscar-research.co.uk

#31 June 2021 News

I hope this finds everyone safe and well.

I wanted to start this mid year edition with a story (do feel free to skip down to the relevant bits further down!):

As a, now relatively long standing, dweller of Devon I would like to consider myself to have transcended what the more obstreperous fellow county dwellers term a “grockle” – I’m unsure of the requisite volume of sand which must have passed through the glass to no longer qualify for this uncharitable epithet, but 6 years (and 2 months) is perhaps at least a decent start. I mention this as – with family in tow – we decided to both embrace the zeitgeist and aim at both a domestic break and to further the ‘west country dweller cool vibe’ (unsure if this is actually a thing, but you know what I mean) and venture further West into the even more aspirational Cornwall. How could this be better – said we – but to enjoy this sojourn via a beach side camp site and in particular to arrive, dwell and return in one of Germany’s famous camper vans (hired for the long weekend at no small cost).

Now, far be it from me to claim that my scant experience of travel, breaks, holidays and all other forms of just not being at home (including associated levels of comfort, relaxation and convenience) constitutes anything worthy of note, nor do I intent any disrespect to (what seemed to be most of the countries inhabitants) arriving in this corner of the UK in every possible form of 2 and 4 wheeled box. However, despite sunny skies, a generous ‘pitch’, a fine view of the azure seas and beautiful white sandy cornish beaches but a bucket and spades throw away, I can report that camping may be one of the most extreme and oversold forms of life’s tortures.

What level of faffery is it when cargo must be unloaded before access to any form of convenience (by which i mean cooker, sink…seating!?) can be accessed. A slight undulation in our ‘spot’ providing tantamount to a slide in the ‘upstairs’ (pop up roof) bedroom – occupied by a 7 year old in a sleeping bag (armed with ‘camping lamp’) – the appearance of which multiple times during the evening, night and early hours – as she maneuvered downhill towards a potential head injury courtesy of the absence of bedroom floor immediately above the driver and passenger seats – was akin to being invaded by an oversized glow worm. The downstairs ‘bed’ – once fashioned – was not a comfortable location for repose (think 4 hours rest for the weekend) and – of course – circa 3 am (freezing – couldn’t figure the heating out) it was necessary to embark on the 17 mile walk to the ablution block. Up at a more reasonable description of ‘the morning’ to fall out through the sliding door, blinking into the sunshine to wonder 2 things:

1 – Had I somehow slipped in Dante’s previously unknown 9th circle of hell?
2 – How many things do I now need to move, slide, push and swear at before I can make coffee!?!

So, dear reader, in my humble estimation Hotels have been invented (and have had a pretty miserable and torrid 18 months), so go support them.

You may also wonder what any of this has to do with Oscar, Public Sector data and all of the other things that this electronic periodical is for. Well, nothing. I had started intending to relay a brief whimsical anecdote and the word count now suggests an essay. My apologies, but the process has at least been cathartic.

Now, on to the usual things:

Updates:

Following the May elections much change – of course – as a result of 2 years worth of councillor elections taking place. This affected 145 Councils in England and around 5000 seats. Also taking place are 15 Local Authority and 9 Combined Authority Mayoral elections. As usual (and thanks to the amazing Local Govt team), all postholder changes were made before the end of May and the allocation of leadership and cabinet/committee functions is well under way (Ed: Stop the presses – literally just heard from the LG team and can confirm all the Leaders have now been updated for the election councils)

An interesting pop fact from the Local Elections:

There were 2159 newly elected Councillors this time – one of the highest %’s of change we’ve seen across local election cycles at some 44%

We have also updated our Live Local Authority Political Analysis (LAPA) report to accommodate the new election year and add another chunk of data to the historical/time series of changes by party.

There were also 41 PCC Elections in England and Wales, 60 Seats elevated to the Welsh Senedd Elections and 129 Regional and Constituency Seats across the Scottish Government. These have also all been updated (as well as the recent by-election – and a couple more of these are to come).

For those that are into their mapping/G.I.S. bits and pieces, there were a significant number of wards (and ward code) changes to note – these have now also been updated following an update on our Geo data feeds. We are also keeping an eye on the proposed 2023 revisions to national Constituencies areas. Details of which can be seen here courtesy of the Beeb.

Outside of elected data, research continues along the usual lines. Items of note here are as follows:

MAT’s – our coverage of senior personnel and checking of School/group structures continues. It’s worth noting there are now nearly 10,000 (a third of all schools) Academies across the UK.

STP/ICS – the transitions continue and we have completed a review of the current organisations and significant post holders. These will continue to develop and grow as it’s suggested they will be replacing CCG’s potentially as early as next year.

Housing Associations – we have an ongoing review into the group structures of Housing Associations with a view to as closely as possible mirror the regulatory data versions of organisations and groups with our own. This is particularly important as we are now mapping housing stock and type to local authority areas. Regular users of this dataset will see frequent changes across the file.

As ever, we encourage all users with current licenses to download the latest data as frequently as possible. The levels of organisational and post holder updates/changes across the board since 1st of April 2021 are shown in the table below:

New:

As part of our continued focus on data coverage and accuracy, we’re pleased to announce two new members to the Education and Healthcare team this end:

Jenni Moorhouse – Research Officer
Candice Powell – Research Officer

A very warm welcome to them both and we’re very pleased they chose to be with us. They are both already busy on the system and hopefully those out there that regularly liaise with the research team will get chance to say “hello” in due course.

As we continue to try and leverage Public and regulatory data to add value and colour to the core Oscar database, we now have a number of new metric and geographic data points available for subscribers to include in their downloads. Details of which can be seen here in the second table. To discuss adding any of these to your subscriptions, or if you have any specific requirements, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

The ‘big’ news alluded to in the previous edition is coming soon. We are working very hard (Management, Dev and Research) to put together our new all encompassing platform and can’t wait to share details with you. If anyone out there would like to be involved with the beta testing, please get in touch and we’ll add you to the list.

Interesting:

We held our first (virtual) company awards ceremony this month – henceforth referred to as “The Oscars” – something we will be doing every 6 months to recognise general greatness for those that are just generally great (it’s quite a broad category). 

Which saw three of our lovely workers receive an award – pictures below (no expense has been spared with these):

The first award went to Richard Cunliffe

This is for general sales excellence, brilliant customer service and being an all round nice guy. He has passed 3 years this year with us and has increased his sales and accounts by over 75% last year and is already well ahead again this year. 

The second award went to Eirian Evans

I can’t not start with the fact that Eirian has not had a day off in 11 years!! – that must be some kind of record. Turning up isn’t enough on it’s own of course, she’s also brilliant on the NHS database, especially the Trusts and we’d be rather lost without her knowledge of structures, functions and organisations across Secondary Care. 

The final award went to Nicola Isaats

Nicola has been with us Oscar since 2010 and was with Keystroke for 6 years before that. Making her the longest serving person from that side and one of the longest across the team – 17 years and counting! She has been a total stalwart on the Local Government database, working tirelessly with Alison and John on the political and management side and in particular this year having checked and updated more records in the past 6 months than anyone else.

Congratulations to them and that about wraps it up for another 2 months. Here’s to freedom when it arrives and meantime, keep safe and well!

James and team at Oscar

0845 226 3044
hello@oscar-research.co.uk
www.oscar-research.co.uk

#30 April 2021 News

Springtime salutations from all of us here at Oscar.

I hope this finds you safe, warm and well. There isn’t much unique or new to say about the current ‘state of the union’ except that it would be remiss not to mention the falling case numbers and encouraging restriction relaxations – more of both please! – though our ‘union’ may or may not be strengthened in the forthcoming elections taking part north and west of the borders. We shall be watching with interest from this end.

Time and data rolls on so there is much to tell you about those elections, organisational re-organisations (tautology anyone!?) and other things being cooked up by the ‘dev’ department at Oscar Towers. Due to being a touch over excited about something – currently in the oven/on the bench/bubbling in a tube of unidentifiable colourful liquid – I have to mention here that we have something very exciting coming in 2021…more in future editions on that!

Meantime – and in the usual format – here goes for the April instalment:

Updates:

Let’s start with some of the major changes, referenced in the last edition:

Local Government:

The Northants changes have been actioned this end, as well as the changes to organisational, political and management elements, this has also – of course – impacted the organisational structures. This affected 391 linked Schools, Parish Councils and a handful of Care homes – all of which have also been updated accordingly with their corresponding shiny new parent org.

Summary of Changes can be seen here

NHS:

Same story here for CCG’s – the 38 old organisations have now been removed from the database and 9 new orgs with post holder data moved accordingly – we will be keeping an eye on the new organisations with multiple reviews and updates scheduled over the coming months. The updates included changing the linkage for the 1381 GP Surgeries to the new entities.

Summary of Changes can be seen here

So as a summary for these sets of updates, if you have any of the following data on license with us, it’s well worth an update via your live subscriptions:

Local Gov
Schools
NHS
Parish Councils
Care Homes

While we are on the subject of organisational changes, the Secretary of State has announced a consultation on unitary local government in three areas: Cumbria, North Yorkshire and Somerset. As a result, local elections have been postponed that were due in these areas in May by one year. Affecting the three County Councils, and also elections in Carlisle, Craven and South Lakeland councils.

Outside of these ‘heavy duty’ changes, general updating continues across the board of course and extra focus is currently being put on the updating and expansion of coverage across the Multi-Academy Trusts and the same with the organisational and relational coverage across Housing Associations – more to follow here as we start to map the areas of housing stock coverage to local authority areas.

Levels of organisational and postholder updates/changes across the board since 1st of February 2021 are shown in the table below:

New:

Following on from announcing the inclusion of ‘Annual Spend’ figures, we have now added Population Served figures for around 90% of Parish Councils. Those with current subscriptions to this dataset will see the new values in their next downloads.

After launching our new e-Lobby service last month, we now have a presentation available to tease those that work within Charitable or Membership organisations. Please have a gander here

Interesting:

We were gratified (and humbled) to receive an official thank you for our role in Keylinks free counselling service – offered to all Public Sector frontline and key workers. You can see more about this here

I should also mention here that we have been proudly involved with the promotion of the NHS, Social Care and Frontline Workers Day, organised by Royal Pageantmaster Bruno Peek LVO OBE OPR. This event on July 5th 2021 will celebrate and pay tribute to all those on the frontline, both supporting and caring for our nation. Special shout out here to our Adam and Alan for giving up their time to help spread the word. If you’d like to get involved, please see here

Finally (and this will transition to ‘Updates’ in the June newsletter) we need to mention the forthcoming Elections on May 6th – an overview can be seen below and related to which we shall be making updates from the 7th with a view to having all completed by the end of May – so, as ever, please take regular updates!

Local Elections – following the delays from last May, this set will see 2 years worth of councillor elections taking place – affecting 145 Councils in England and around 5500 seats. Also taking place are 15 Local Authority and 9 Combined Authority Mayoral elections.

PCC Elections – The 41 Police and Crime Commissioners in England and Wales

Senedd Elections – 60 Regional and Constituency Seats

Scottish Government Elections – 129 Regional and Constituency Seats

So that’s it for another 2 months. Here’s to a slow and steady return to normality for all and meantime, keep safe and well!

James and all at Oscar

#29 February 2021 News

Dear all

I hope this finds you safe and well!

…and who said winter was the worst part of the year!? – at the time of writing there is (in no particular order), a lockdown, snow, flooding and an argument with our “friends and neighbours” across the channel to contend with; set against the backdrop of (for many of us) bedroom walls, home schooling and the other joys that currently accompany the prevailing situation.

Is this yet another doom and gloom message, sent to drive you to another glass of wine!? – not at all! – Herein is 5 minutes of respite and positivity. Focused around UK Public Services, our data and everything in the middle.

Updates:

Let’s start with some major changes coming in April.

Council Mergers/Changes – always big news and continues the trend from the past 25 years or so of replacing County/District Council splits across England with a single (or in this case 2) Unitary Authority. This year it’s Northamptonshire’s turn with the 8 current councils for the county being replaced by two new organisations. Details can be seen here

CCG’s – there will shortly be 29 less of them. 38 are becoming 9 as part of the ongoing restructuring of the NHS in England with a long term view of there being 44 ‘regional’ areas for Commissioning/Coordination of Healthcare delivery. We will shortly be publishing a list of these and if anybody would like to see this when it’s ready, just let us know.

As an aside/little bit of interesting reading on the Health side, it looks like the Government is keen to exercise a little more direct control over the NHS than it may be doing currently – read here – this may, of course, precipitate further changes down the road.

As you might expect, we’ll be making the updates in as near real time as possible and, as ever, for subscribers another great reason to make the most of your live database access.

Work continues along the usual update cycles across the Education, Healthcare and Government datasets and the following table shows the level of changes since the previous Newsletter in December:

New:

New MAT Cats (has a ring to it)

As part of our continuing work focused on expanding the depth of coverage around Multi-Academy Trusts, we have added a number of new functional categories to that database and work has already started with populating the corresponding post holders. The new functional categories are as follows:

Clerk/Secretary – Most senior Administrative contact. Specific and in some cases statutory post
Central Administrative Services – Central management of administrative support services provided for other departments.
Corporate/Strategic/Policy Planning – Involves advising/planning in connection with strategic issues and developing systematic processes to enable, general organisational development, expenditure programmes and services to be evaluated and optimised
Operational Services – Strategic role concerned with service delivery from a logistical perspective. Often involves co-ordinating partnerships with other organisations.
Quality Assurance – Monitoring the services provided by the organisation/department against predefined standards.
Educational Strategy – Responsible for monitoring the quality of Education provided by the organisation and developing new and better ways to provide services
Welfare – Provide advice and support to schools, children their families where there are social or emotional problems affecting school attendance or education in general
Public Relations/Marketing – Promoting the image and services provided by the organisation
Central Financial Services – Overall responsibility for financial services in the organisation
Central Computing – In charge of in-house IT for the whole organisation and management of contracts with outsourced/contracted IT. Responsible for corporate policies and related purchasing.
Facilities/Property Management – Overall and day-to-day management of all kinds of property owned by the organisation. Depending on the organisation type can include offices, depots, hospitals, classrooms, public buildings, smallholdings and farms.
Health and Safety (Internal) – Internal implementation of legislative requirements concerned with the safety of employees and members of the public within publicly run/owned buildings
Central Legal Services – All kinds of in-house and outsourced legal work.
Central Personnel Services – Human resource and personnel management for the organisation as a whole. Day-to-day management may be delegated to departments in larger organisations
Central Purchasing of Supplies – Management of some or all of an organisations purchasing processes; including lists of approved suppliers; bulk purchases; organisation wide standards and annual contracts.

Related to the ‘Interesting’ section below, we have also added ‘Gender’ categories to the MP’s and Devolved Members database. Anyone with subscriptions to these will now see the new values in their downloads.

Interesting:

Following a request by the ONS for the publication of a gender analysis of Locally and Nationally elected representatives as part of their global data platform promoting equality, we have put together this live report – please feel free to use and share the information contained, we just ask for a credit/link back to the report where published.

Finally, we have a new researcher who’s joined us this month and is working with the existing team focusing on the Education and Care datasets, so would like to say a very big hello to Jenni – great to be working with you.

That’s about it for Feb – here’s to spring and a general thawing in all senses and see you in April.

James and all at Oscar

#28 December 2020 News

Festive greetings to everyone.

Well, we’re approaching the end of 2020 and what a year it has been. I think it’s safe to say that we won’t forget it anytime soon. Genuinely from all at Oscar, and I hope without being platitudinous; we hope all you and yours have remained healthy and continue to do so and, at the further risk of being a touch Gregorian, here’s to 2021!

For us, 2020 has been a very busy year and we are very grateful to have been able to keep the doors (and windows) open, lights on and all other related similes that pertain to us being here, being busy and having the chance to work with some great clients and on some interesting projects.

The year has also brought about the crystallisation of what can only be described as a general existential crisis as to what Oscar is, what we do and why we do it. The cure; well, there’s more on that in the ‘Interesting’ section below.

Meantime, over to our usual allotments of news and info.

Updates:

It’s customary – or at least traditional this end – to start with our availability over the yuletide:

We are closed from December 23rd until Jan 4th – email will be monitored during this period and our live systems will, as ever, be available to everyone as needed.

Following the launch of our new e-Lobby Service, we have updated our Customer Guide. The latest version can be seen here

Unusually to start with on the database side; Education – for Further and Higher Education, as with the Schools, datasets we’ve been busy on post September updates and have added a new functional category to the database:

‘Academic Services – Digital’ – covering those senior Academic Department Heads responsible for Digital courses.

Speaking of new functional categories, we have another one to tell you about:

‘Board/Committee – PCN Social Prescribing’ – these are the members of the Primary Care Networks (PCNs) responsible for connecting people via non medical referrals with the community through community schemes, resources and the voluntary sector. For more on PCN’s and the other changes across Primary Healthcare, please see previous newsletters, view our intel hub, or just get in touch.

Co-incidentally, we also have two new fields to report, both are now available as optional fields for subscribers:

ActualSpend – Numerical Value showing total spend for the organisation. Data provided through a combination of direct research and modelling for smaller entities. We have recently added actual spend figures for Councils, NHS Trusts, Colleges, Larger Govt Departments and Universities as well as looking in depth at Parish Council spend.

NumChildOrgs – Shows as a numerical value the number of linked Child Organisations. This one is particularly handy for sizing/profiling the Care Home and Schools databases.

The full list of recently added optional fields can be seen here

A note for the future – we have also started looking at the relationships between Housing Association stock (ie where they are active) and Local Authority areas – more to follow on this in the coming newsletters.

Across all areas of course our research continues as ever. Levels of organisational and postholder updates/changes across the board since 1st of October 2020 are shown in the table below:

New:

We’ve made something completely new and shiny; our e-Lobby Tool

This provides an end to end solution for Charities and Membership organisations that want to create campaigns and encourage their users, supporters or members to lobby their national or local representatives. Democratic!

You can take a look here

If you’d like to know any more or book a demonstration, please just get in touch.

Interesting:

It was perhaps inevitable that BREXIT would get a mention somewhere. To which end, our friends at e-shot have put together a summary of data protection considerations post EU/Dec 31st.

Data protection regulations will not change after the UK leaves the EU, but that does not mean there is no impact on organisations from a data protection perspective. Take a look at e-shot’s overview and summary of data transfer considerations for when the UK is reclassified as a ‘third country’.

Moving away from that thorny subject and to continue from the initial preamble; who are we and what are we about (rhetorical – well, mostly!) etc.

To try and answer those philosophical musings on the what, who, how and why; we’ve been working on some Mission and Vision statements. 

These are as follows:

Mission:
We facilitate better communication to, engagement with and understanding of UK Public Services through unique research, accurate data and innovative data driven systems.

Vision:
To never stop learning, growing and evolving – Furthering choice, collaboration and knowledge for the public and all working with and within UK Public Services.

Following any feedback internally and externally (that’s you, so please do let us know what you think) they will be taking pride of place on our website.

And finally, thank you to all our staff and customers this year. We wouldn’t be here without you and we appreciate all that you bring to our little corner of Devon.

A very Happy Christmas and we look forward to working with you in 2021.

James and all at Oscar

0845 226 3044
hello@oscar-research.co.uk
www.oscar-research.co.uk

#27 – October 2020 News

Autumnal Greetings from the South Coast.

I hope this finds everyone safe and well and all are managing with the varying degrees of freedom to at least a satisfactory level.

For the purposes of balance we can report that following the last newsletter written under the glare of the mid-summer sun; the English Riviera is now cold, wet and generally conditions are conforming to the typical seasonal zeitgeist. The staycationers, day trippers and all other visiting folks have returned from whence they came, leaving nothing behind but for the incongruous collections of large cruise ships that are currently moored along the coastline. A reminder, if it were needed, that things have some way to go before normalcy is resumed.

With all that said, on to all things Oscar:

Updates:

The NHS (one of our favourite topics for the update section it would seem) continues to evolve. The start of this month saw a significant merger between Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and we note a number of forthcoming CCG mergers that will be reflected in the database as they happen. Beyond which, the ever changing primary care landscape is worthy of note with the ongoing merger of GP Practices and rationalisation of Surgeries. As ever, those with access to this data should be taking regular updates to ensure accuracy.

Local Government updates continue as normal, with a few noteworthy changes, including those of Leadership, both on the Executive and Elected side. Most recently (at the time of writing) Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council have elected a new leader. There are also going to be some big changes to Local Government in Northamptonshire next April, with the current County Council and 7 District being replaced by two new Unitary Councils – continuing the established theme across England of replacing two tiers with a single tier of Local Government.

The result of the database, including all other areas of Healthcare, Education and Housing are being worked on. Notably on Housing there is some news to report in due course on the linking of Housing Stock owned/managed by RSL’s/PRP’s to Council areas.

As a new feature to be included in every newsletter, we’re going to show the level of changes and updates across all areas of the database since the previous newsletter – partly to show off and partly to encourage regular updates across our subscriber base.

To that end, the analysis of changes since 1st of August 2020 is as follows:

New:

To quote Mr Disraeli (and no, not the one about Lies and Statistics – however true that may be), there can be no happiness without action, or in our world; Development. There are a number of new things in the pipeline which I’m looking forward to sharing across the next few newsletters. For this installment, and as mentioned in the August edition, we have put together some guides and generally attempted to centralise information about how (best) to access, consume and update Oscar data (assuming you work for one of those well informed companies out there that have a current subscription of course – if not, what are you waiting for!?).

So, for Data/Workflow options and also to see our guides to ‘automagically’ feeding Oscar data into either Google Sheets or Excel, please have a look here

In addition, we also now have a number of additional optional fields that can be added to customers subscriptions. For a full list, please see here – it’s worth noting these have not been added to the standard downloadable fields, so as not to ‘upset’ all the current automatic importing processes clients have in place.

Stand-out additions (for us anyway) are:

Local Government – Housing Stock
(Shows the number of Units/Houses Owned or Managed by the Organisation)

LegalStatus
(Banded values showing the official legal status of each organisation. Values include: Public Bodies, Companies and Charities)

NumberofEmployees(Modelled)
(Modelled employee banding values based on an algorithm from all other organisational size metrics to create a universal single value field)

Schools – ofstedrating
(The overall rating following the most recent OFSTED inspection)

Interesting:

Following on from a number of Market Research projects we got involved with earlier in the year, one in particular is nearing full publication – it includes thoughts from over 1000 Councillors across the UK in regard to the impacts of the current pandemic. Our friends at the MJ have published some elements here. The full report will be available for public consumption in due course.

That about does it for now. Keep warm and well.

James and all at Oscar

#26 – August 2020 News

Greetings to one and all.

I hope this finds you safe, well and cool!

At the time of writing, the mercury has reached a dizzying (by UK standards) 32 degrees down here on the English Riviera, resulting in two small issues. 1: The annual dilemma of whether to purchase an air con unit for the circa 48 hours a year of heat and 2: Where does one park when you live in a town that is currently being visited by the rest of the country during that relatively narrow window otherwise known as the summer holidays. Exacerbated at present of course due to that new entry in the contemporary lexicon; “staycations”

I digress, though if any of you have not yet visited torbay, you may like to see the balance of your fellow country people here courtesy of our webcam

In seriousness, it’s good to see the world moving again and anecdotally at least based on some of the conversations we’re having, the commercial wheels seem to have started turning again. We can but hope it is to set to continue and ultimately to be to the benefit of all.

On to Oscar and Public Sector related matters:

Updates:

We have recently implemented a number of new checks and balances via some new streams of regulatory data we are pulling into the Oscar system. These will further improve the data integrity, structure and coverage of high organisation volume datasets – in particular Schools, GP Surgeries and Care Homes. Those savvy people with current subscriptions to any (or all) of these should look to take regular updates as often as practical.

Related to which, we will be including in the next edition of this missive some new information about a number of data, update and workflow automation options we can help all data customers with. If this is of interest meantime, do get in touch – we’re never opposed to a good chat about data feeds, API’s or anything else that improves quality, experience and saves time!

The NHS updating continues and we now have a new organisation type covering Sustainable Transformation Partnerships/Integrated Care Systems (‘ICS/STP’)’ and the coverage of key post holders across these is increasing as we go. In addition, the coverage of Primary Care Network (PCN) Clinical Directors (invariably GP’s) has increased considerably over the past few months and now stands at over 800. Related to GP Surgeries, we have also now taken the decision to start recording the branch and other surgery sites against each GP Practice. This will enable users to both identify all Surgeries run by each Practice and better reflects the continued merging of Practices into ‘Groups’.

Our Central and Local Government Research Teams have had a busy summer, continuing with the general updates across Departments, Agencies and Councils and attempting to keep up with the inevitable increase in changes that have occurred since the Spring.

As ever, for any specific queries, support or anything we can do to help support you, just shout.

New:

Our lovely friends at eShot (the email platform and marketing automation service we use and partner with) have very kindly put together a specific offer for Oscar data customers. So, if you’re looking for a new email platform, want to supercharge and automate your electronic marketing, or are just generally curious, please have a look here

The offer remains open until September 30th this year.

Interesting:

Our SYT platform continues to develop, if you haven’t already have a quick play. Just enter your postcode here and see what we can tell you about your location.

If you haven’t done so already, we cannot but recommend activating your PSN Supplier Subscription – the subscription is free and can be found at the top of your Oscar Customer Area (the page you see after logging in). The benefits include a profile of your organisation within our Supplier Directory and a feed of Public Tenders linked to your specific area of activity, these are also conveniently summarised for you in a weekly round-up email. An overview of the subscription can be seen here.

That about does it for August and we’ll be back again in the Autumn with some news about data automation, a chunk of new additions to SYT and some new research services that are all currently in the works.

Until then, stay safe and well.

James and all at Oscar

#25 – June 2020 News

A sunny hello from the team at Oscar.

We hope this finds everyone safe and well and we send our best to you and yours.

I’m sure all have welcomed the recent tentative steps towards a return to that conceptually elusive “normal”; primarily at least because it reflects an improvement on the effects of C-19 across the board.

Many of you – us included – will still be holed up in your home bunkers, awaiting – or not as may be the case – the return to the joyous commutes, school runs, meetings and general toing and froing that accompanies the conventional paradigm alluded to above. For our part, we have been busily getting on with our research activities and completing the gestation of a lovely shiny new thing – more on that later.

So, preamble over, here’s the usual array of things that we hope are interesting, useful or just something to pass the time in between the next coffee and the children knocking on the office door (though that might just be me!?)

Updates:

Much to say about the NHS (in England at least). The CCG and NHS Trust changes mentioned in the last newsletter have all been completed, so well worth subscribers taking updates for these. As promised, we have summarised the organisational changes for you and the details can be seen below:

CCG Changes

NHS Trust Changes

We are currently working on the expansion of coverage and depth across STP’s and ICS’s, as well as completing the research across Primary Care Networks (PCN’s). More specific details on the database changes in the next edition, but see the ‘Interesting’ section below for our new NHS report.

Our focus on Education research continues, with a lot of work done around Multi Academy Trusts and the linked Schools. We have also been working on streamlining the organisation types across Further and Higher Education. As with the health data (and in the related words of a former prime minister) Update, Update, Update.

Research continues as normal across Government, Housing and Social Care. The postponing of local elections has given our research team more time to focus on all sides of Government and all Councils are being updated as per ‘non election’ organisations this year.

New:

Surf Your Turf (SYT)

We have made our SYT platform live in the past few days. I could try and describe the wonder of geographical, demographic, organisational and structural data that it is, but instead, please just have a play here.

If you’d like to receive the ‘onepager’, or book a demonstration of the premium features, please just get in touch.

Interesting:

We have taken a look at the current landscape across the NHS in England, specifically the changes across CCG’s connected with the continued implementation of the NHS Long Term Plan and the creation of Integrated Care Systems (ICS’s) broadly taking the place of the Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STP’s) across the original 44 NHS footprint areas. We have also linked the latest individual CCG’s to the current Footprints and ICS/STP’s

The full report with 4 appendixes can be seen here

Positivity:

To continue the – well received – theme from the last newsletter, we wanted to share some more positive stories with you from this end:

We have begun working on a number of ‘pro bono’ projects with partner research organisations to gather, understand and share the effects of C-19 across the various areas of Government, Education and Healthcare. These are currently on-going, but we will be sharing the results with the subject organisations, the media and you in due course, with the ultimate aim of helping policy makers provide the support required across our Public Services.

Working with VIQU, a Birmingham-based IT recruiter, we have been able to help save NHS Trusts approximately £1m pounds. VIQU used the services of Oscar to investigate and deliver names and contact details for CEOs and CIOs or IT directors for every trust across the UK, Collingwood told Recruiter. “Between the team and I,” Collingwood (VIQU MD) said, “we reached out to over 2,000 people over a week-and-a-half to offer our pledge”, to deliver volunteers with no accompanying fee, he said. So far over 200 posts have been filled. You can see the full article here

Finally, our PSN website and monthly newsletter remains open at no cost to publish and promote any news and support services or projects that would help those working across all areas of UK Public Services.

That just about does it for this time and if there are any ruminations on that slippery “normal” concept, do share.

Until August, Stay Aware, Safe and Well.

James and all at Oscar.

0845 226 3044
hello@oscar-research.co.uk
http://www.oscar-research.co.uk

#24 April 2020 News

Greetings to one and all.

Normally I would attempt to start one of our bi-monthly missives with something frivolous or lighthearted. Indeed, the (often poor) attempt at self deprecation and ironic humour is the default position for most of our outbound comms. However, in light of current goings-on, it’s both appropriate and genuine to mark the challenges and difficulties currently being faced by our social and commercial communities. To which end, from all of us here at Oscar (currently spread across the country in various home offices, bedrooms and landings) to all of you; we hope you are keeping safe and well and are managing the best you can.

We remain fully open and functional and are keeping all staff on as well as trying to do our bit to help where possible (more on that later). So we’re here to discuss any challenges you are facing, any external communication or planning thereof you are working on around or into the Government, Healthcare or Education Sectors (most of which are still fully or partially open of course); or just to have a chat and ruminate on when things will return to some semblance of recognisable normality…after all, every storm eventually runs out of rain!. We are here.

With some degree of self-interest (but equally with no less truth), there have been a number of articles and blogs recently recommending that now is not the time to cease outbound marketing and communications. The Sunday Times business section at the weekend had an article, extract as follows:

“Viral Survival Guide: Spend, Spend, Spend. One source in the article argued that when companies ‘go dark’, it can take years for them to recover sales to pre-crisis levels. The source cites the dotcom crash and how this negatively impacted on a lot of companies. They contrast this with the crash of 2008, where companies such as Heinz, Hovis, Virgin Atlantic “doubled down on their advertising and reaped their rewards” – Keep visible in dark times”

Updates:

Despite current circumstances there have been a number of noteworthy changes – many taking place at the start of April.

Multiple Trust and CCG mergers across England – we will shortly be publishing a table of these to show previous and new entities and have, of course, been updating the Oscar database as changes occur. So all NHS subscribers out there should take updates whenever possible (well, you should be anyway, but here’s an extra reason to do so).

There is a new Council (not something that happens every day!). Buckinghamshire has gone Unitary, so the 4 districts and one county have gone. We have made the changes in the live system, including the 350 affected/linked Schools and Parish Councils. See above for updates et al.

Local elections have been cancelled for May 2020 (can you hear the Local Govt research dept cheering?…..I can!). Ditto by-elections until next year. So, we will be adjusting our research processes around Councillors accordingly and treat all Councils as ‘non election’ this year, focusing on updates and general maintenance.

There is always much else to say about the updates across the piste, but the above seems like the headlines and if you have any questions about areas of Government particularly of interest to you, just shout.

New:

We are providing a number of free resources to those working across Public Services on our Public Sector facing platform – PSN. The statement from the home page (which covers it really) is as follows:

Covid 19 Update

During this challenging time we are offering the use of every aspect and resource of our Public Sector Network (PSN) platform to Government bodies and users at no cost.
If you would like to share any helpful content, articles, online events or for us to include anything in our next e-newsletters (which are distributed to all Public Sector post holders on PSN), please just get in touch. In addition, our PSN directory remains fully functional and free of charge for all Public Sector workers who wish to use the resource for networking, support and co-operative working.

If you have any useful links, articles or services that are free, useful, supportive or in any other way enhancing, please let us know and we’ll list the details.

On more data related matters; we have now added the Social Housing stock data for Local Authorities as well as details of the total number of households per council area. If you’d like this information added to your current subscription, just let us know.

Interesting:

We are looking to make the Oscar LinkedIn Page – the default place for all updates, news and content (as well as these lovely newsletters every 2 months of course) – also means we can update you more regularly. So please, give us a follow to help stay up to date with all the goings on this end.

I’ll end with a couple of stories from this end – and by way of a pat on the back for those involved here at Oscar and to generally share a little positivity:

A young lady of 83 (84 next month she told me) called today by mistake trying to register as vulnerable. She wanted to get deliveries from Sainsburys so I took her details and called them on her behalf, called her again after work to check in and we ended up chatting for 40 minutes.

We provided some free intel and data for an IT company that had decided to offer staff to the NHS at no cost. Their feedback: “Its been a manic day. We’ve had Trusts ask for around 20 volunteers, which is great and have other calls scheduled. We’ve pledged to introduce 100”

Our editorial team ran a feature in our PSN newsletter about the UK Community Network which connects volunteers with those requiring support – this generated over 500 engagements from the correspondence. There really are some kind folks out there!

That’s all for now. So, keep following the guidelines and here’s to better days to come!

James and all at Oscar.

0845 226 3044
hello@oscar-research.co.uk
http://www.oscar-research.co.uk

#23 – February 2020 News

A windy and wet hello to all current and future customers. The sun can’t be far away now…. surely!?

January and now nearly all of February seem to have elapsed, so it’s time for the latest set of news and (hopefully) useful content from Oscar Towers.

So, without further ado, here goes:

Updates:

General

Customer Guide – As a result of some recent upgrades to our PSN Supplier subscriptions, we have updated our Customer Area Guide

GDPR – We felt it was time to update our GDPR Q&A document. The new and shiny version can be seen here

Government – Following our departure from the EU in January, the MEP’s and Department for Exiting the EU have been removed from the live database. The MP database has, of course, been fully updated post the general elections at the end of last year.

Our Councillor database has been fully refreshed following the post election updates back in May to July 2019 and the now completed annual review of non election councils. All ready for the next round of updates in May 2020!

Healthcare – ‘Social Prescribing’ is likely to become a pretty universal model of care managed at a PCN level (groups of GP Surgeries). We will in due course be able to look at adding the Link workers (where they are recruited internally within the PCN/Surgeries – rather than where they decide to use external agencies). Meantime though and as this gets ‘bedded in’, we are collecting the PCN Clinical Leads which we’re currently collecting (500 currently on the system as of today and number increasing weekly). These can be found under the ‘Boards/Committee’ functional area, the category being: ‘PCN Clinical Director’.

We have also added a number of new functional categories to our Care Homes database to cover a new set of Senior and Board Level post holders within Care Home Groups. These include Operational, Facilities, Human Resources, Public Relations and Quality Assurance. If you’d like to know more, just shout.

Education – We have recently made over 4000 contact and organisational changes across our Further and Higher Educational dataset so far in 2020 – this includes 623 new post holders. For those with subscriptions, please make sure you take the latest updates.

We are also continuing our focus on Academy Convertors and MAT’s across the Schools database. There is also more to come on the Schools side with new data points being added – so stay tuned for details of those in due course.

New:

Capture

PSN – Free!?, yes FREE. Our new PSN supplier subscription is free of charge for one and all. This provides subscribers with:

Live Bespoke Tender Alerts and weekly round-up emails
Live Supplier Profile Listing on PSN. See how that looks here
Unlimited Event Listings on PSN –See how that looks here

If you have an existing Oscar customer account, just log-in and you can activate your PSN Supplier subscription there. If you don’t yet have an Oscar customer account, then firstly why not?? – and secondly, you can get one and in so doing activate your free subscription here

One Pager – We are often asked what we do – and after much head scratching we have come up with a (relatively) concise overview of all things Oscar – See here

OP

Mapping – We have a new geo and data mapping presentation available for your enjoyment. Please have a click to find out more

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Interesting:

Following the November General Election, we have created some comparison maps showing the differences at a constituency level pre and post the results. The new Political Map can be seen here

In closing:

Plenty more that could be said, but I’ll save that for the Spring newsletter, hopefully when temperatures are higher than the wind speed and we can all leave the brollies at home!

Meantime, keep safe, warm and well!
James and Team at Oscar.
www.oscar-research.co.uk