#18 – Customer Guide and Xmas

Hello lovely customer, users, enquirers, colleagues and anybody else with a passing interest in Oscar.

It’s cold, dark and generally pretty grey, which must mean Christmas is around the corner!

Before we shut up shop for another year, a few bits to update you all on.

New Customer Area and Product Guide.


To follow on from a lot of development and new services and features, we’ve finally gotten round to putting together a guide for our customers and subscribers. –



We’ve gone Secure

Well, we always were secure, but now we have a ‘S’ in our HTTPS address for the website and associated data services. This doesn’t affect much of what we deliver, but for anyone taking data via our API it may be necessary to get a new link via the customer area – helpfully, full details of how to get this is in the guide above – joined up thinking eh!?

2019 and beyond

We’re busily planning the next decade for Oscar this end, which will see us continue to build on the new services and sites we have launched over the past couple of years as well as adding a number of new ones. 2019 should be an exciting year as we start our focus on extending our data, intelligence and fulfillment services. As ever, we welcome all user feedback on what we do and what else we can do for you.

Xmas Shutdown

Our data and subscription services will continue running (of course) over the festive period, but our offices will be closed from the end of Friday December 21st until the start of Wednesday Jan 2nd (2019).

In case we don’t get chance before, I’d like to thank everyone for their support and business over 2018 and we look forward to working with you into 2019 and beyond.

A very Happy Christmas and New Year to one and all!

James, Adam, Becky, Richard, Allen, Geoff, Alan, Natalie, Sheryl, Sue, Alison, Mel, Claire,  Nicola, Ali, John, Shan, Eirian, Keri and everyone else at Oscar.


#17 – Some New Things

A warm hello to everyone.

We have all been rather busy this end with the launch of our new PSN website and a number of new services and stuff on the data side.

Without further ado and in no particular order, please have a gander at the following:

(Here’s a list first so, if time is short, you can skip down to the bits of most interest)

  1. New Customer Analysis and Potential (CAP) Report
  2. New PSN Media Pack
  3. Updated Local Authority Political Analysis (LAPA) Report
  4. Schools Data Visualisation
  5. New PSN Website
  6. New Oscar Customer Area


1. New Customer Analysis and Potential (CAP) Report 

We take your current Public Sector customer and prospect records and tell you exciting and interesting things about them, as well as revealing lots of data enhancements and new data potential to be gleaned from our rather lovely database. Want to know more about your Public Sector customers and get more of them? – take a tour of a sample report here

Copy of CAP Template Final

2. New PSN Media Pack

To go with our new website (more on that below) we have compiled a new media pack. Choc full of exciting advertising, content and sponsorship options for all you Public Sector bodies and suppliers out there. Have a look

PSN Media Pack First Draft

3. Updated Local Authority Political Analysis (LAPA) Report

Want to know the political make-up of your council? – see the trends of political representation across parties, areas and council types, then take a peek at our live report (we also build data driven reports, if that tickles your fancy do get in touch).


4. Schools Data Visualisation

Want to see our Schools data in a whole new way? – we did; so we put together the first of a set of data visualisations and reports that we will be compiling for each area of Government. This one shows all Schools on a google map and a dynamic control panel for selecting and seeing volumes of schools by type, area and parent organisation. Handy eh!? – have a look


5. New PSN Website

After a lot of development time, we have launched our updated Public Sector Network (PSN) website. The largest free data, news and information platform in the UK (so far as we know anyway). We have taken the best of the old site and added some spit and polish to make everything look a little nicer. I could wax lyrical about the 6000 articles, the complete directory of Government and all the features and benefits for both Public Sector users and suppliers (see the media pack for some of those), but it might be easier just to have a look (yes, we know, the supplier directory isn’t on the public part of the site yet – it will be soon though!).


6. New Oscar Customer Area

Last (and by no means least), we have taken the opportunity of a major back-end system update to refresh our Oscar customer area . Many of you may be glad to know that we haven’t changed what you could do before, but instead, we have just added more things. Including;

Access to PSN Subscriber accounts and functionality
API links included for all data subscribers.
Access to Organisational Data Subscriptions
Access to download Documents, Reports and Files we have created for you.
Access to links and downloads of bespoke Maps and Directory feeds.

So if you’re one of the lucky ones and have an account with us, of any kind, log in and have a gander.



Still with me? – well, I think that’s about it for now – phew!….that said, there are many updates to tell you about across the core Oscar database with major changes afoot within the NHS, Local Government, Central Government…….etc etc – but we can tell you all about those another time.

For the moment, we’re happy to just get the details of the shiney new things out there and are here to discuss anything you may need on the Public Sector data front as and when you need us.

All the best from James and all at Oscar


#16 – GDPR / Elections / New Things

A sunny hello from the English Riviera, where, just for a few days, it has actually been sunny!

Some updates and notifications of note for both some and all of our data subscribers and users.


Yep, everyone’s favourite subject at the moment.

For those that haven’t yet seen it, we have a Q&A relating to Oscar and the usage of our data beyond May 25th 2018 at – http://www.oscar-research.co.uk/OscarandGDPR.pdf

The most important thing to be compliant is to take (at least) monthly updates of your data selections with us and follow our terms of usage (I’m sure everyone was doing that already of course!). Simple as that.

So, if you have a live subscription and haven’t taken an update recently, please log-in and take one. We have a number of ways for you to access and receive updates, including our new API (we do try and make things easy). Please see – http://www.oscar-research.co.uk/databases/oscardatadelivery.pdf  – plus we are here as needed to help streamline and automate the process as needed.

If you have mislaid, forgotten or the dog has eaten your access details, just let us know.

The ICO have also published some useful guidance for B2B marketing here – https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/marketing/the-rules-around-business-to-business-marketing-the-gdpr-and-pecr/


May rolls around fast – or so it seems for those of us with lots of post election work to do anyway. Updates for all Councillor and Mayor elections are well under way and will be completed before the end of May. This year 150 councils went had partial or complete elections and there were 5 mayoral elections. You can watch the changes and see the latest via our publicly available LAPA report – http://www.oscar-research.co.uk/data-intelligence/LAPA


In April this year we acquired one of our data partners – Lists and Data Sources. This brings with it a range of new services and some jolly nice people too. We will be working through the integration of services over the coming months. This broadens Oscars offering to now include Business and International data brokerage, Campaign Management, Fulfillment and a number of other data enhancement, matching, cleansing, audit and reporting services. More to come on this during 2018/19.

That’s about it for the (at the time of finishing writing; now less sunny) Torquay. We have lots of things we’re working on this end and will compile informative missives accordingly.

Best regards from James and all at Oscar

#14 – Happy Christmas and a few other things

Hello one and all.

‘Tis the season to wish all customers, enquirers, colleagues, friends and pretty much everyone else a Happy Christmas and all the best for 2018. Thank you for everyone’s support and business over 2017! – we’re here until Friday 22nd (so only 6 more ordering days to go – best be quick!) and back Jan 2nd  2018.

It’s been an interesting year all told, with lots of changes to track across the NHS and Central Government in particular. Not to mention a substantial Local Government election (May is always fun here!) and higher than usual set of changes there and, who can forget the General Election. All sufficient to keep our hard working researchers busy and engaged. It would be remiss not to also mention the extra work and developments we’ve made across the Care Homes database in terms of both Home coverage and group structures and the Schools with the mapping of Academies to MAT’s.

The Oscar team is looking forward to 2018, which will see a bright shiny new version of our Public Sector facing platform( PSN – www.public-sector.co.uk) in the early part of the year, along with a host of exciting new features for users and promotional opportunities for suppliers. We are also looking to continue to keep at the leading edge of data delivery with smarter data provision, feeds and sharing.

Whilst I’m here, a few noteworthy things that would have been in the Oct/Nov updates if I’d have got round to writing them:



Our boffins have now completed the API delivery mechanism thingy for Oscar data subscribers. In essence, we can now provide all subscribers with a magic URL which will provide a direct feed of your selections and can be plumbed into your CRM/Database (probably with the help of someone that knows their PHP from their AJAX). This warrants a message (and will get one) all on it’s own, but hey it’s nearly Christmas, and I’m sure everyone will care just a bit more in January. Meantime though, one of the team will be happy to talk to you more about this if you just can’t wait.




So, still lots of things going on across the National Health Service. The core and driver of all developments in England being the Five Year Forward View (FYFV) and the development and rolling out of the new Models of Care. To help the less initiated get to grips with this, we have published a couple of new diagrams on the website to, hopefully, provide a little enlightenment.

Diagram showing those involved with the planning and delivery of the Models of Care – http://www.oscar-research.co.uk/documents/NHS%20Models%20of%20Care%20Flow.pdf

Diagram showing the main Commissioners, Providers and Services across the NHS in England – http://www.oscar-research.co.uk/documents/NHS%20England%20CPS.pdf

These are now also available within our archive along with some alluvial diagrams I’ve been playing with – http://www.oscar-research.co.uk/data-intelligence/archive



No need I’m sure to explain the acronym. Been a fairly newsworthy piece of legislation for our industry. For the bits that matter to Oscar and our customers please have a gander at our Q&A – http://www.oscar-research.co.uk/OscarandGDPR.pdf


So that’s about it from us for 2017. We wish you and yours a happy, restful and enjoyable festive season and we look forward to working with you all in 2018!!


James, Ulrik, Adam, Becky, Allen, Geoff, Alan, Natalie, Zoe, Sheryl, Sue, Alison, Mel, Claire,  Nicola, Ali, John, Shan, Eirian, Keri and everyone else at Oscar.

#13 – DMA and Elections

Hello again – our posts it seems are like taxi’s; nothing for ages then a gaggle all at once. (or indeed whatever the collective noun for those black conveyances might be; in fact – please do bear with me – just googled it – a THUG of Taxi’s is the answer to that……do hope our missives, both collectively and individually have a considerably more pleasant resonance!)

Anyway, enough of that, on to the news:


Cue Fanfare!. Oscar is now a Corporate Member of the Direct Marketing Association. We passed compliance this week and are now fully fledged members of the best known representatives for our industry. Exciting, we thought! – check us out here


Also, and more pertinently for data users, we have now completed the updates following last weekend (interesting) national elections (for local elections/updates, do see post #12 below) – so, please get your freshly minted data here folks for all things MP, electoral and political. For those with interest in such things, the current political party breakdown across the House of Commons by seats/members is as follows (note, taken from our live database – impressive eh? – in fact, you can run any counts or selections you may wish here):

Category Sub-category Contact count
De-duplicated total – 650
Political Affiliation Conservative 317
Political Affiliation Green Party 1
Political Affiliation Independent 1
Political Affiliation Labour 236
Political Affiliation Liberal Democrat 12
Political Affiliation Plaid Cymru 4
Political Affiliation Scottish Nationalist 35
Political Affiliation Democratic Unionist (DUP) 10
Political Affiliation Sinn Fein 7
Political Affiliation Political Affiliation Not Specified 1
Political Affiliation Labour and Co-operative 26



Finally, we thought it worth a mention of our new Organisational Subscription. Data on every Government and Public Sector organisation, updated, categorised and streamed to a computer screen near you. Please have a look here for more details and general edification

Ok, so that’s it for now……..TAXI!

Oscar and the Team


#12 – 2017 Local Government Elections

Greeting to one and all.

Time for some news and results around the 2017 Local Government Elections.

We have now completed all the updates on Councillor seats following the Local Elections on May 4th 2017. This new data is available to all Councillor database subscribers.

A total of 4851 seats were up for election across 88 Councils, making it an average size election across the 4 year Local Govt election cycle, albeit particularly of interest to many perhaps given it may be seen as a testing ground for the forthcoming national elections a little later this June.

All Scottish and Welsh Councils had elections, along with a number of English Counties, Mets and Unitaries. In addition,  notably for regular Oscar users, this  included elected Mayors for the new Combined Authorities. All of which are now on the database. There were also quite a large number of Boundary changes – especially within the County Councils – again, all of which have now been updated on the Oscar file.

Through our database subscriptions and also via our new live Local Authority Political Analysis (LAPA) report – http://www.oscar-research.co.uk/data-intelligence/LAPA – we can provide a wide range of data, insights and visualisations relating to the election results and the political landscape across local government more generally.

Some of the more interesting outcomes are as follows:


The following table shows the % gain/loss of total seats compared with pre-election numbers. Notably, the Conservatives saw a large gain in seats both from the same 2013 elections and as a total compared with 2016, as did the devolved nationalist parties (Plaid and the SNP) and the Green Party. Perhaps surprisingly, there was movement away from the Liberal Democrats and Independent Councillors/Parties in the round.

Party Total Seats Since 2016
Conservative 9216 7.08%
Labour 6265 -4.57%
Independent 1357 -5.50%
Liberal Democrat 1806 -1.79%
Scottish Nationalist 434 7.16%
UKIP 321 -26.88%
Plaid Cymru 197 11.93%
Green 188 6.21%

Council Control:

The following table shows the number of all Councils by Party in Control following the elections. The results demonstrate a clear swing away from Labour towards the Centre/No Overall Control and from the Centre to the Right. The Second table shows the specific councils that have had a change of Control.

(Control of a Council is determined by a threshold number of seats for each council, which when reached by a particular party gives them control – if no party reaches the threshold, then the council has “No Overall Control (NOC)”)

Party Councils Increase/Decrease
Conservative Council 197 6
Labour Council 109 -7
No Overall Control Council 83 0
Liberal Democrat Council 7 0
Independent Council 6 2
UKIP 1 0
Scottish National Party 1 -1
Plaid Cymru 1 0
Non Political Council 1 0

Specific Changes of Control:

Authority 2016 Control Post May 2017 Control
Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council Labour Council Independent Council
Bridgend County Borough Council Labour Council No Overall Control Council
Cambridgeshire County Council No Overall Control Council Conservative Council
Derbyshire County Council Labour Council Conservative Council
Dundee City Council Scottish National Party No Overall Control Council
East Sussex County Council No Overall Control Council Conservative Council
Norfolk County Council No Overall Control Council Conservative Council
North Lanarkshire Council Labour Council No Overall Control Council
Nottinghamshire County Council Labour Council No Overall Control Council
Powys County Council No Overall Control Council Independent Council
South Lanarkshire Council Labour Council No Overall Control Council
Suffolk County Council No Overall Control Council Conservative Council
Warwickshire County Council No Overall Control Council Conservative Council
West Dunbartonshire Council Labour Council No Overall Control Council

You can have a play with a live table of Councils showing the political party representation across each at – http://www.oscar-research.co.uk/data-intelligence/LAPA

Meantime, we are now onto the next stage of the Councillor updates, covering the new Cabinet and Committee responsibilities, leadership and structures. Details of which will follow in due course and will likely take a couple of months to complete all aspects as we receive updates following Council AGM’s.

Hope that was all at least a little edifying and potentially even just a bit useful.

Hats off this end to our hard working Local Government research team: Alison, John and Nicola for their dedication to all things Local and Electoral.

James and all at Oscar.

#11 – New Website

New Website Launch
After much tinkering and work this end the new and improved Oscar website is live. This provides a home for all our current data products and services and, here’s the exciting bit, makes room for some new ones. Please take a few minutes to have a browse and let us know what you think. We are here to support existing customers with any queries or “where has that bit gone” type questions, though having had everything reviewed by the worlds most pre-eminent feng-shui expert (not really, it was just Adam), we’re sure that won’t be necessary.
We’ve been working away on some data reporting, analysis and visualisation products and services, some of which now feature on the site (and likely justify a post in their own right – so watch this space) and with a lot more to come. Please get in touch to discuss any requirements, to pass judgement on our new website or to join our mailing list for further details. Come on, you know you want to.
The Oscar Team

#10 – New Customer Analysis and Potential Report

Greetings to everyone.

Hope the sun is shining with you!

We wanted to share the details of a new Report that we can build for our lovely customers.

Our Customer Analysis and Potential (CAP) report uses the Oscar database as a benchmark to match and profile your current Public Sector customer database; providing Intelligence and Enhancement potential. As the market leader in Public Sector data we have an unrivaled universe of Government and Public Service organisations and posts upon which to build insights and as an informed gateway to providing new prospects and data

See a sample here – http://www.oscar-research.co.uk/CAP.htm 

The report includes analysis of:

Current Customers

>Organisation, site and contact coverage

>Breakdown by Government Sector.

>Geographical Coverage, including heat map

Matches and Enhancement

>Matches against Oscar Organisations, Sites and Contacts

>Duplicates, Dead Organisations and those requiring attention.

>Identification of Matched Posts and Post Holders

>Available Enhancements for Organisational Contacts Data

>Available Enhancements of Sector Specific Demographic Data

>Available Enhancements for Contacts and Posts.

Universe and New Data Potential

>Current Customer coverage vs Universe

>Duplicates, Dead Organisations and those requiring attention.

>Analysis of new Organisations by type, area and heat map.

>Counts for set of Targeted New Posts and Post Holders

Summary and Recommendations

>Industry Expert Analysis of current database and potential


The report is provided in HTML and clients databases are returned with matches of both contacts and organisations flagged, plus those organisations suspected of being duplicated and defunct.

Cost – £500 plus VAT

On the basis of the report, we can then provide costings for any further enhancement, new data of bespoke research work that may be required. The cost of the report is deducted from any data that is subsequently ordered.

If you’d like to discuss getting your own Report, please contact us

.That’s all for now folks.

The Oscar Team

#9 – The GDPR and Oscar

Hi folks

Following a number of conversations with clients over the past few months and with plenty of references to the new General Data Protection Regulations in the marketing industry, we thought it was worth putting together a brief overview of forthcoming changes to those involved in the use of personal data for Business Marketing and to provide Oscar’s position and protocols around data collection, provision and use.

What’s changing:

In May 2018, a new set of rules Governing the holding and use of personal data will come into force. Called the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), this EU wide legislation will have an impact on almost all UK businesses, but particularly those regularly processing or using data that contains details relating to people/personal data.

For those with masochistic tendencies, the full set of regulations can be read at – http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:32016R0679&qid=1490280010587&from=en

(those with eagle eyes may spot item (47) – The processing of personal data for direct marketing purposes may be regarded as carried out for a legitimate interest.” not quite as straight-forward as all that, but nice for our industry to have been considered!

There is also another piece of legislation in the pipeline – the ePrivacy Directive – designed to supplement the GDPR in relation to digital interactions with individuals and the rights and rules associated. Likely to be in place 2018/2019.

A useful overview of the changes in relation to business marketing can be seen, courtesy of the Direct Marketing Association, at – https://dma.org.uk/article/b2b-marketing-and-the-gdpr

Direct Marketing and Research:

For us (and clients), the interest is in the application of these rules in relation to the data collected by Oscar and the use for business marketing, communication and research.

The headline points for those involved with direct marketing and research are as follows:

B2B Email Marketing to Public Bodies, Businesses and Corporate Subscriber email addresses within these organisations will remain on an OPT-OUT basis. There are rules governing the practices of direct marketing via email of course (covered in our terms of data usage), but broadly the GDPR changes don’t affect current practices. Watch words (sentences) here are “Relevant” “Not Excessive” “Target content and services to the Post not the Post Holder” “Offer clear Opt-outs and ensure they are honored”

Another entry for the DMA here; regarding the use of corporate emails for B2B marketing following the new legislation – https://dma.org.uk/article/worst-eprivacy-b2b-fears-averted

B2B Phoning and Postal Marketing – As above in terms of organisational scope and  permissions remain (subject to Corporate Telephone Preference Screening of course!) OPT-OUT. Approaches need, of course, to be targeted, respectful and, as always, requests for no further correspondence or communication be honoured.

Ultimately, the new legislation introduces additional safeguards around personal, and more importantly, sensitive data. Larger organisations may require additional and/or training of staff to ensure compliance with their roles as data controllers, but ultimately (and sensibly) the changes still permit the use of professional related personal data (ie post holder names and their corporate email addresses) to be used for the purposes of targeted and well planned marketing of products, services, events and publications.

Oscars Approach

As a data compiler and provider of Public Sector organisational and post holder data there are two key elements for us.


Fundamentally making sure the data we hold is correct and fit for purpose is paramount. We spend over £250,000 annually and employ 15 people to achieve a 6 month rolling research cycle though our database. Details of which can be seen at – http://www.oscar-research.co.uk/databases/accurate


Effectively split into two parts – collection and use.

Data collection, validation and retention – Our Database Transparency and Information Notice can be seen at – http://www.oscar-research.co.uk/info/datatransparency.php – following extensive review by our legal team in 2016, this is the best reference point for details of our disclosure of data usage purpose, permissions and management protocols for data compliance and has been in force since January 2017. In brief, all Oscar data is sourced either from within the Public Domain or is provided to us by the post holders or their employing Public Service organisations. We make all the data we hold freely available to the subject organisations and employees across Government and Public Services and in all instances of data request/provision, provide an obvious reference to, or copy of, the information notice linked to above.

Data Use by Clients – We never sell data, we provide specific time and use restricted licenses to clients for its use which is governed by our Terms of Usage – http://www.oscar-research.co.uk/info/terms . These ensure compliance for both us and the data user and are strictly enforced. The terms of usage are also referenced in our Data Transparency and Information Notice.

We hope this provides a bit of enlightenment (and indeed re-assurance) on our approach to the new legislations and the use of our data moving forward. We appreciate we’ve just covered a specific and narrow element of the overall implications of GDPR and the broader legalities relating to holding of, access to, use and rights relating to all dimensions of personal data. That said, on all other associated matters; employees dates of births, birthday cards with someones picture on it, or most importantly, can you add the name of your clients cat to your CRM…. we’re afraid you’re on your own. Either that, or you could try the DMA, the ICO, Trading Standards, CAB, Amnesty International or perhaps your local friendly solicitor.

Best regards

James and the Team at Oscar