Departmental Databases

Health written question – answered on 7th October 2008.

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Photo of James Duddridge James Duddridge Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what use (a) his Department and (b) its agencies make of (i) MOSAIC data and (ii) ACORN data.

Photo of Ben Bradshaw Ben Bradshaw Minister of State (Regional Affairs) (South West), The Minister of State, Department of Health

The Department uses the geo-demographic systems MOSAIC and ACORN to assist with targeting of marketing and communications messaging. The Department uses the Central Office of Information (COI) to help with this process. The two targeting systems have been used to:

improve targeting on campaigns e.g. when planning a door to door distribution drop to profile, segment then pick off the ACORN audiences that most correspond to communications target audiences to improve efficiency of activity; give the Department a view of specific geographic areas for targeting in terms of demographic profile; allow the Department to examine segments of the population on Government surveys and map them to direct mail lists and examine media consumption to enhance how the Department can reach pertinent audience groups when required; create a bridge between research-based segmentation and more actionable data based segmentation; and evaluate whether respondents to a campaign fall into an expected audience profile e.g. did the campaign work against the people the Department wanted to respond/convert and which media predominantly drove which type of respondent?

It is possible that other tools or applications may have been used (for example, through external agencies or contractors) which themselves make some use of MOSAIC or ACORN data. The Department may not necessarily be able to identify such indirect use.

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