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How far the Registry Trust statistics have come.

When I first joined Registry Trust in October 2019, we had quite a limited scope and schedule for publishing our data. In fact, we only released it on a quarterly basis, with aggregated data prepared once a year. This served the same purpose it always had – by demonstrating how judgments were changing year on year, and showing what kind of data was available if anyone else wanted to incorporate judgments research into their work. I felt, quite strongly, that there was a lot more that could be done with this incredibly significant data set. For a data analyst to be given an almost untouched dataset…. Wow!

This year feels like the year we truly brought our data to life. It has been my role to do so, and has been an absolute pleasure to undertake.

So, what did we do? First things first, we started using Tableau to produce all our statistics in table and visual form. Tableau’s mission is to ‘change the way people use data.’ This is something that really resonates with me. If data is accessible and transparent it is more likely to be received and understood by those outside the statistics bubble – which for us at Registry Trust is where the majority of our audience lie. Since then, everything produced has been down through and published with Tableau, or exported out for presentations. It really has transformed the way we can access our data.

The first product that saw a change was the quarterly statistics. We decided we wanted a lot more analysis into the content, as well as incorporating a new format, and a Dashboard, that allowed users to actually interact with our data. I then went about redesigning the quarterly statistics book to make it more user friendly and the data more accessible. Download our latest statistics book (Half Year 1 2020) to have a look for yourself.

The commentary slides were the best addition to this process. They provided further, in-depth insight into a particular trend in a specific jurisdiction during the quarter. This was hugely beneficial as it meant that readers could consider what might have driven the change and how this might further manifest in the future. We used bold colour to distinguish these slides from the rest in the pack and used different forms of graphs and mapping to access different parts of the data.

Here are some of my favourites:

Scotland Q4 2019

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England and Wales Q1 2020

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Republic of Ireland Q1 2020

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Northern Ireland HY1 2020

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This new approach to our statistics was so successful, we were able to headline the finance section of The Guardian in January, and you can check out the article here.

Beyond this, our age analysis also caught the attention of BBC Moneybox, who invited our Chairman, Mick McAteer, to come along and chat about the recent trend of CCJs against those under 30. This article on BBC summarises the piece and was featured on the headlines on BBC Breakfast.

One of my favourite projects that I have undertaken whilst working at Registry Trust is creating our Financial Stress Tracker. Putting my new Tableau skills to the test, it was fascinating pulling in data from different financial vulnerability indicators to spatially paint a picture of financial stress in the UK. It was also a great opportunity to demonstrate the richness of our own data in demonstrating economic realities on the ground.

This application aims to provide comprehensive analysis into key financial stress indicators. We include our data on monetary court judgments, Money and Pensions Service's over-indebtedness index, Insolvency Rates and StepChange contacts. Normalising these to per 10,000 population, we then rank the regions of the UK, to indicate the areas under the most financial distress.

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The second dashboard is fully interactive and allows you to explore in depth what financial realities people are experiencing in different parts of the country (probably starting off with a nosey at your home town!). The data on this dashboard relates to 2019 and provides an in-depth look into currently levels of financial stress in different regions, through the lens of judgments. They are all interactive so clicking on the different sections of the bar and pie charts and legends will cause the other graphs and charts to alter to represent these dimensions.

East Anglia Breakdown

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East Anglia Breakdown focusing on Satisfactions

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And finally, the best project of them all… the blogs!

The blogs have become a fun and insightful place where we can explore topics on financial instability and vulnerability. Our work is driven by the principle of ‘Public Data for the Public Good’ and therefore we always seek to help society understand the economic and credit landscape. But the blog was also an opportunity for us to show you the inner workings of Registry Trust and introduce you to a few of our members of staff.

I have been delighted to share my thoughts on so many topics, from deconstructing judgments after Saturday night chats with friends, investigating trends in judgment numbers from different angles, and talking about our company culture and how to manage a CCJ.

All in all, the blogs are a way to have a ‘chat’. An informal place for small scale investigation into all things judgments related.

This will be the very last Registry Trust blog from me. For those who don’t know – I’m off to study for a PhD. It has been an absolute pleasure working with this data and I hope to have given many of you food for thought. I know I am going to keep reading to know what’s going on in the world of judgments! Merrill Hopper, signing off.

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