Two things initially discouraging: first, a Google search for National Statistics Agency [sic] produces a web page for the old ONS at http://www.statistics.gov.uk/default.asp; this is ALMOST but not quite the same URL as the new authority at http://www.statistics.gov.uk/... but what about the apparently similar but possibly different http://www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/? Well, teething troubles no doubt. Second there's a prominent link on the (first of the above) home page that "ONS independence comes into effect on 1 April", and the link is broken. More teething...
A quick explore led me to the UK snapshot, with lots of interesting web pages summarising data. As an example, there is a page Headed "Acid Rain" under the "Environment" section; you get a graph and a few paragraphs of text, eg "Emissions of chemicals that can cause acid rain fell by 53.8 per cent between 1990 and 2005, from 6.9 million tonnes to 3.2 million tonnes." In fact, the page doesn't tell us whether rain became less acidic during this period, but again that's a quibble.
But I was looking for data, not summaries. I found some under "Time Series data", but had to go through a complicated sequence of selections to find an actual dataset. I selected Share Ownership, then "Total market value by sector of beneficial owner: end-2006", then "DEYQ, SRS: Ungrossed: Total Market Value:Individuals" before I got a download button. The 3 download options were:
- View on Screen
- Download CSV
- Download Navidata
,"DEYQ",All fine, I think... except I could not find any way to do this automatically. Maybe they have an API I haven't found, maybe they have plans not yet come to fruition. Anyway, some good stuff here, but perhaps room for improvement?
"DEYQ","SRS: Ungrossed: Total Market Value:Individuals"
,"Not seasonally adjusted"
,"Updated on 8/ 6/2007"