Research and data

We aim to make decisions on everything from corporate plans to community funding allocations based on the best possible evidence. We want to enable others to do the same.


Government organisations provide many free resources that make it possible for us to use the latest evidence and intelligence to make better decisions about our area. View our list of statistics resources.

Using official statistics and evidence to support policy

Although these products are usually free to use to the public, they are rarely presented in a ready to use condition.

The research and information team helps our Community Planning partners and the public to use the official statistics and any other resources, including their own data, as management information to evidence policy and help make better decisions.

Why use evidence?

The Local Government In Scotland Act 2003 states that we should provide our services in a way that is transparent, robust, informed and accountable. This includes making use of information and guidance, wherever available. In addition, many of the policies and plans that we support are governed by statute. All Statutory functions we provide should be informed by a relevant evidence base. This requirement is reinforced by the Christie Commission on the Future delivery of Public Services, which provides a mandate for good practice in research and information for local government.

Free consultancy service

Anyone who lives and works in Scottish Borders can ask us to help them access official statistics to support their business needs, whether it be for a specific purpose such as a funding application, or whether they need to find out more about their local area for any other reason. This is a free consultancy service and we will endeavour to collate the information within the timescales as requested.

Community profiling

We can provide a community profile on request, by drawing information from Official Statistics sources into a report with maps, text, tables and graphs. This can be for any area in Scottish Borders and for any topic area, or a range of key indicators for a range of topic areas.

View the list of community profiles which have been produced and are available to download, or you can request one for your area by contacting us.

Multi-member Ward Overviews are an example of community profiling. These Ward Overviews were compiled to assist incoming Elected Members following the May 2017 Council Elections. They contain information on:  

  • population
  • deprivation
  • unemployment
  • schools

If you would like further information at Council Ward level, contact our research and information team.

Strategic Assessment

The Scottish Borders Strategic Assessment is an evidence base about:

  • the population
  • the economy
  • the people
  • all 'Socio-economic' and demographic aspects of the Scottish Borders

It is used as a library of information which helps to inform the Scottish Borders Community Planning Partnership, Local Outcome Improvement Plans (LOIPs) and Locality Plans.

Household survey

The household survey is used to gather customer opinion on our services. We also gather information on how well the Borders’ community feel we are doing in meeting its needs through:

  • customer surveys
  • engagement events
  • our complaints process

This information is used along with performance information which is presented to the Executive Committee on a quarterly basis, to help shape services.