This page includes descriptions of standard methods used within OHID to produce indicators robustly and consistently.  It also carries supporting materials to assist with interpretation of the Fingertips profiles and further use of the indicator data.  These include guidance documents and tools, some of which were previously published on the website of the Association of Public Health Observatories and others which were Public Health England (PHE) guidance.

The content is managed by the Public Health Data Science team.

PHE Technical Guides

Comparators Briefing – Overview
Comparators Briefing – Technical


Technical Guide – Aggregation (December 2019)

Technical Guide – Assigning Deprivation Categories (updated June 2017)

Technical Guide –Relative and Absolute Inequality Explainer

Technical Guide – Confidence Intervals (updated June 2018) 
   Paper on confidence intervals for directly standardised rates and small numbers

Technical Guide – Directly Standardised Rates (July 2017)

Technical Guide – Funnel Plots (updated January 2018)

Technical Guide – Indices of Multiple Deprivation (updated July 2021)

Technical Guide – RAG Rating Indicator Values (updated January 2018)

Technical Guide – Spine Charts (updated July 2017)

Technical Guide – Fingertips Trend Markers (February 2020)

Using ONS mortality data – taking account of 2011 changes to cause of death coding
   Reference table of ICD10 v2010 comparability ratios

Using ONS mortality data – taking account of 2014 changes to cause of death coding 
   Reference table of ICD10 Iris comparability ratios

Analytical Tools

Funnel plot tool for proportions (updated June 2017)
Funnel plot tool for rates (updated July 2021)
Funnel plot tool for ratios (updated July 2021)

Tool for assigning deprivation categories (updated November 2017)

Tool for calculating common public health statistics and their confidence intervals (updated February 2018)

Excel add-ins for rates, proportions and DSRs (updated November 2018)
   Guide for loading Excel add-ins

The PHEindicatormethods R package is available from CRAN - instructions for downloading and installing are here.

Inequalities calculation tool

Slope index of inequality tool (simulated confidence intervals) (updated December 2017 with RII)

Life expectancy calculator (updated February 2019 with slight change to confidence interval calculations for consistency with ONS method)

APHO Technical Briefings

APHO Technical Briefing 1 – Sources of data on lifestyle risk factors in local populations
   Detailed Supplement

APHO Technical Briefing 2 – Statistical process control methods in public health intelligence

APHO Technical Briefing 3 – Commonly used public health statistics and their confidence intervals
   Additional DSR Guidance (July 2017)

APHO Technical Briefing 4 – Target setting in a multi-agency environment

APHO Technical Briefing 5 – Geodemographic Segmentation

APHO Technical Briefing 6 – Using small area data in public health intelligence

APHO Technical Briefing 7 – Measuring smoking prevalence in local populations
   Supplementary Paper: Other potential sources of smoking-related data

APHO Technical Briefing 8 – Prevalence Modelling

APHO Technical Briefing 9 – Measuring Sustainable Development

Other APHO Technical Guides

The Good Indicators Guide: Understanding how to use and choose indicators

Dying to know: How to interpret and investigate hospital mortality measures



For further information contact the Public Health Data Science team: