LG Inform Home Page and Search Guide

Back to top

1. Public Access Home Page

The LG Inform Home page - The home page is divided into three sections

  • Welcome - A welcome message provides a brief overview of the website – this can be removed by clicking Hide.
    • It may appear again if the LG Inform team have an important communication to advise

Screenshot showing the LG Inform Landing/Home Page

  • Dashboard - A mini dashboard showing six metrics focusing on key/topical data. If your location is enabled, this will automatically pick up an authority near to you, if your location is disabled the default option is England.
    • You can also search by area or postcode to bring up the authority of your choice.

Dashboard screenshot showing 6 dials. The dials highlight 6 different metrics from the database depending on the type of authority searched for.


  • Standard Report - By clicking on any of the blue metric titles, it is possible to open up a specific report for each metric.
  • Headline Report -  A Headline Report for the area is also available by selecting Headline Report underneath the dashboard. This report provides a selection of comparable value for money and performance data for services metrics that can be compared with other local authorities/regions across England.

Headline Report Screenshot showing the link to access the Headline Report

  • LGA Report Library – the ‘see all reports’ button takes you to over 30 pre-built reports created by the LGA’s Research and Information team.

LGA Report Library link

  • Selected Reports - The final area of the Home page presents examples from the range of themed reports created by the LGA Research and Information team. You can select a report by clicking on the title.

LGA Research Report topic example screenshot

  • Navigation - When looking at the website via the public access home page, a number of options are available on the menu dropdowns at the top of the page:


Screenshot of items under the Data and Reports tab

  • Data and Reports – this tab enables users to go to the LG Inform Search engine via the ‘Data and Reports’ link or to the LGA Themed Reports area.


Screenshot of items contained within the Benchmarking Club tab

  • Benchmarking clubs – this highlights the LG Inform Benchmarking clubs run by the LGA Research team which are available to local authorities.


Screenshot highlighting the online training tab

  • Online training – this tab shows the webinar programme available to any user covering both LG inform and LG Inform Plus.


Screenshot showing the location of the Help tab

  • Help – this link takes you to useful information about using the site and background information.


 Screenshot showing the location of the About tab

  • About: Provides an explanation and purpose of LG Inform and takes you to the following useful areas:
    • Contact: Provides an option to register with LG inform if you have a gov.uk email address, and provides contact details for the support team
    • FAQ: Provides background information regarding LG Inform
    • Help: Provides links to areas of the website relevant depending  on the help required
    • User Guides: Guides on how to use LG inform, covering common tasks and user requirements
    • Resident Satisfaction: Guidance for councils carrying out general population surveys and would like to include questions on resident satisfaction, crime and cohesion, and benchmark these results against other councils in LG Inform
    • Benchmarking local data in LG Inform: A voluntary process aimed at collecting local data directly from councils for benchmarking
    • Fire benchmarking club: A voluntary process aimed at collecting local data directly from fire authorities for benchmarking
    • Online Training: Access to online training guides, and information on upcoming online training sessions


Back to top

2. Registered Users Home Page

For those that have registered with LG Inform and have signed in, the options available will be slightly different on the home page.


Screenshot of the signed in Registered Users Home Page detailing the extra tabs: report builder and My LG Inform.


  • To register for an account with LG Inform, click Register. You will be taken to the screen below and should fill in your details accordingly. You will also be asked to confirm you agree to the terms and conditions.

Screenshot of the Registration Form.


  • If you have already registered, click Sign In. You will be taken to the screen below, and should login with the details you used when registering.

Screenshot of the Sign In Page


  • If you have forgotten your password, select the link on the left; Reset Password. You will be asked to provide the email address you registered with.

Screenshot of the Reset Password form


  • Once you have signed in, your home page will differ slightly. The dashboard will be adjusted to the area relevant for you from your registration, and the Search by area or postcode box has been removed as a result.

Screenshot of the Dashboard containing 6 dials on the signed in Homepage


  • The metrics on the dashboard are set by default again, but now can be customised through My LG Inform or by clicking on Edit Dashboard.
    • You can:
      • Select up to six different metrics to show and decide the order by which they appear
      • Change the area the metrics cover (this will by default be set as the authority you have registered as)
      • Choose the calculation method to control how the RAG status is applied
      • Set the comparison group for the metrics
      • Link a report – this can be one written by the LGA or your own (more information on how to build a report is in our guide: ‘Report Builder – Building a Report’)
    • Any changes saved will show on the home page the next time you visit it

Screenshot showing the Edit Dashboard controls


  • Beneath the dashboard you can visit the LGA Report Library and view a number of recent LGA Reports. By clicking on the blue titles they will open for viewing.

Screenshot of the LGA Report Library and sample contents


  • My Recent Activity. If you scroll further down you will come to an area showing your recent activity. This shows the last 5 reports you have recently viewed or edited. You are able to add reports to your library by clicking the yellow star to the left of the report’s name.
    • To view the report, simply click on the blue report name
    • You can visit ‘My Library’ via the purple button. This will take you to all reports you have saved or created or made favourite.

Screenshot of what appears as 'My Recent Activity'. A list of recent (five latest) actions undertaken by the user e.g. a report or a metric they have recently seen. page image


  • Two extra options are available from the dropdown menu at the top of the page for users that have signed in:

Screenshot showing the location of the Report Builder tab

  • Report Builder - will allow you to build your own reports using various metrics within the system. More information on how to build reports can be found in our training guide ‘Report Builder – Building a Report’.
  • My LG Inform - provides you with the options below, where you can personalise areas of LG Inform, view documents that you have created, edit your home page dashboard and edit your profile.

Screenshot showing the contents of the My LG Inform tab: Preferences, My Library and edit Dashboard.


Back to top

3. All Users - Data and Reports: Search Function

  • All users will have access to the Explorer and Search function via the Data and Reports tab, which is located on the toolbar across the top of the website. This function can be used to locate particular metrics or reports:

Screenshot of the Data and Reports search function tab showing two options: 'Data and Reports' and 'Themed Reports' links

  • You have the option to use the 'Explorer' or 'Search'
    • Explorer - allows you to search the LG Inform Database by 'key themes' such as Housing or Community Safety.
    • Search - you can use 'key words' to look for certain data and reports. Any that match with report titles, alternative report titles (e.g. NI and BVPI titles), service areas and tags.
Screenshot of the Data and Reports landing page. Highlighting the Explorer tab.tion


  • By clicking one of the purple icons e.g. Housing a set of results is delivered to you. See below:
Screenshot of the Housing search results showing additional search options within Housing e.g. Council and Community Housing. The number of results obtained is highlighted as is the facility to obtain a csv download.


  • Other search options may also be available within the initial search. Click on the available purple icons to see additional results.
  • The number of metrics available in this Search can be seen: e.g. 764 results. Also, a csv download, detailing all metrics available in the search, can also be used to get a full listing.
  • Search results are shown at the bottom of the screen.
    • Left hand side
      • The Metric Name: e.g. Total new dwellings (short label)
      • INFO: Click on the info icon to show the meta data associated with the metric. This describes key features such as the name of the metric collection.
    • Right hand side
      • Icons show whether the metric is available as a percentage or a count. Or, if the metric can be broken down further e.g. by gender. Click on these to see the data for the metric.

Click on INFO to view meta data (click again to close).

Screenshot of the INFO tab button expanded to see metric metadata.


  • Click on PERCENT to see the metric data

Screenshot showing the metric specific data and dialogue box with available functions as described below.

  • Available features:
    • At the top of the screen are four modifiers:
      • Area type, Area Select, Area View and ‘Compare with’. These can be modified to see the data in different views.
    • The four purple icons on the left allow the data to be viewed differently: Table (default view), Bar chart, Map and data feed.
    • Download the data or link to it via the icons in the top right hand side of the table.
    • View reports that are available for this data item click the ‘‘Ready made reports’ tab.
Screenshot highlighting the view ready made reports and information links.
  •  View the metric description and meta data click on the ‘Information’ tab.
  • Available reports are listed. Click on the title to open it. You will go to the LG Inform Standard Report. An example Standard Report is shown at the end of this guide.
Screenshot showing list of standard and other reports that will open up in LG Inform
  • To close this just click: ‘Back to Results’
Screenshot of the 'Back to Results' button at top of the dialogue box.


  • Click on BREAKDOWN to see further options:
Screenshot showing Breakdown tab opened up to see further data available within this metric.


  • Click on Search to be able to search for individual terms e.g. obesity
Screenshot showing Search tab selection.
  • The Search function can be seen below:
Screenshot showing full Search dialogue box with Local Authority as the area type highlighted.
  • Local Authority is the default area type. Other areas are available depending on how the metric data is made available. E.g. by Region.
  • Input your search term into the ‘Search’ bar e.g. Obesity and click ‘Search’ to get results.
Screenshot showing search term, obesity, in the search bar area in order to generate results.
  • To see the meta data and data the Search facility operates the same way as the Explorer.
  • There is an ‘Advanced’ function:
Screenshot of the ADVANCED features expanded to reveal further options to refine your search.
  • Additional search functions are available to refine your search:
    • Title: Use generic terms such as expenditure or population
    • Collection:  pick from the list of all collections in the database
    • Includes the text: search on key words
    • Updated: dates before, on or after to refine the period you are searching for.
    • Topics: pick from a list of local government services to refine the search.


Back to top

4. LG Inform Standard Report: an example.

  • The LG Inform Standard Report for any metric is accessible from the ‘Home page’ by clicking on the blue hyperlink shown above the dials
Screenshot showing the Blue Hyperlink above one of the 6 dials.
  • Each metric held within the LG Inform data base can be viewed via the same template.
  • The template can be focussed on any local authority area, period or comparison where the metric is appropriate by using the top modifiers.
  • Four modifiers are available to customise the report:
Screenshot of the four modifiers available to change report. The 'Apply' button is highlighted
  • Change data metric: This allows the user to search the database for different metrics
  • Change date period: For here users can see the available periods for the metric.
  • Change area: Any available local authority area can be selected
  • Change comparison group: To benchmark, this modifier allows users to select from an extensive range of preloaded comparison groups e.g. Nearest Neighbours.


  • Click ‘Apply’ to enable the changes and view the data item.
  • It is possible to ‘Print’ or ‘Export’ the report and, also, to share it via a number of social media platforms.
  • The report is split into six segments (components) and by scrolling down the report a number of tables and charts are shown to visualise the data.


1. The Metric Metadata: this provides the definition of the metric, the source, collection name and what the ‘polarity’ is for the metric. E.g. a high value is good or a low value is good.

Screenshot of the Metric Metadata for the example report.


2. A basic comparison table: the table highlights the number of periods selected and the respective values for the local authority. The ‘Minimum’, ‘Mean’ and ‘Maximum’ values for each are shown referencing the ‘comparison group’ selected at the top of the report.

Screenshot of the basic comparison table


3. A bar chart: the bar chart shows the values for the lead authority (highlighted in purple) and for each authority in the comparison group. A ‘Mean’ line is drawn to show the relative positions of the authorities against this average.

Screenshot of the example Bar chart: Greater London authorities


4. A Map: the map shows the data for all authorities in the comparison group within four quartiles with a colour for each. The lead authority map shape has a bold line.

Screenshot of the example map: Greater London


5. The data time series: the bar chart sows the lead authority value for all periods selected against the ‘Mean’ value for the comparison group.

Screenshot of the data time series


6. The data selection: this table shows the data for each authority and each period selected. All columns can be sorted alpha-numerically.

Screenshot of the data arrayed in a table: London areas on the left, data series on the top.


  • To the top right-hand corner of each report section (component) there are two purple icons:
Screenshot of the two purple icons
  • These enable the user to change the view of each component and also export the component in a variety of formats.
  •  The Change Component icon:  
Screenshot of the change component icon
  • By clicking on the above icon, numerous options are available to change the component type e.g. from a Bar chart to a line chart. Just select which you are interested in and the component will change accordingly.
Screenshot of the change of component available selections listing
  • The Export icon:
Screenshot of the export icon
  • By clicking on the above icon the following options are available to users to ‘export’ the component. As:
    • A JPG
    • A PNG
    • APDF
    • A CSV
    • Embed Code
  • Just select which you require and click ‘Export’.
Screenshot of the export options. Choose which format type you wish to to export
  • Embed code allows you to locate the component (or a full report) as an active chart, table or map within your website. If ‘Embed code’ is selected additional steps will be presented as follows:
Screenshot of the embed the component dialogue box showing options
  • Users are requested to determine the size of embed required. Typically, ‘Large’ is for websites with ‘Top Navigation’ and ‘Small’ is best where there is ‘Side Navigation’. For those unsure, there is also a ‘Custom’ option too. Select which you require and click ‘OK’.
Screenshot of the embed code generated
  • The Embed code is generated instantly. Use the highlighted ‘copy’ function to ‘grab’ the code and send it to your webmaster for deployment. The component will be live and when the data is updated the component will change accordingly.
  • These icons allow you to use ‘Social Media’ or to email a copy of this report to colleagues.
Screenshot of the icons available to allow 'Social Media' to share the report: Twitter, email, Facebook and 'In Share'


Back to top