Hackney Poverty Index Project: week commencing 20th January 2020

Sprint 6

The Hackney Poverty Index aims to build a shared understanding of poverty in Hackney by making the most of our local data.

The goal for sprint five was to produce an interim output for our project. +Tim Burke has been working really hard to develop our data model and prepare some initial outputs over the last two weeks.

We are still waiting for a lot of data in the education, health and housing themes, so for prototyping purposes, we have focussed on bringing together income data. Our draft ‘income’ index includes data on:

– Estimated household income

– Eligibility for means-tested benefits

– Impact of welfare form

– Pensioner poverty

We’re also still working on other income datasets (food bank usage, debt, child poverty), but this limited amount of data has still been enough to develop our model. The initial draft is looking good, however, we have realised that we need to make some decisions as a team about how best to: 

  • Normalise the data (getting indicators into a standard format so we’re not comparing apples and oranges)
  • Handle missing data e.g. where values are suppressed due to small numbers
  • And consider the best method for combining different scores (using either a geometric or arithmetic mean)

As a team, our next steps include workshopping the above in the next sprint and validating the proposed methodology with a challenge group, to help form the basis of the next iteration of the model and its outputs.

+Anna Gibson also obtained access to a cool tool called Hometrack (part of Zoopla) which will help us source data related to average rents and housing affordability.  


Gaining access to data is a challenge and we continue to work closely with various data experts/owners to obtain this.

Next sprint, our goals are to: 

1. Make important decisions about our methodology through team discussion and feedback from our challenge group

2. Follow up on outstanding data

3. Refine our model and its interim outputs

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