Hebden Bridge has topped a list of of ‘Best Places in the UK’ thanks to its attractiveness to families, safety & infrastructure and culture according to SAS, a leader in analytics.
Hebden Bridge achieved high marks across each of the key categories, giving it the edge over other locations analysed across the country.
The Calderdale town also featured in the best seven places globally, ranking at number five behind the overall winner, West Perth in Australia, Feijenoord, Rotterdam, Netherlands, New York, NY, United States, and Sandy Bay, Australia.
The findings come from the Paradise Found project that analysed masses of publicly available information, including data from city studies, social media sites like Twitter, review sites like TripAdvisor, geodata and reports from statistical services and agencies such as UNESCO and WTO.
John Spooner, Head of Data Science at SAS UK & Ireland said: “The data doesn’t lie. When putting together a conventional survey, it’s all too easy for unconscious bias to creep in when selecting the criteria to use when determining which data should be collected and analysed.
"For Paradise Found, however, we processed all the available data and allowed machine learning algorithms to decide which criteria are truly important. This way, no aspect can be ignored simply because no one was looking for it.
"So the list of locations above will no doubt surprise some people, but this is what the data and our machine learning model has created.
"This demonstrates the power of analytics as it can be used to find answers to questions that might differ from what people might expect based purely on gut instinct or their own particular views.”
READ MORE: Top 12 accessible places in Hebden Bridge
Machine learning algorithms were used to select from all the data what the eight key criteria were for measuring each location. These included living expenses, safety and infrastructure, healthcare, restaurants & shopping, the environment, culture, attractiveness to families, and education and employment.
Information that was analysed included weather, the job market, healthcare, price indices, environmental pollution, public transportation, and green spaces.
This was combined with indicators for quality of life, for instance, the price of common groceries such as a kilogram of bananas, the distance covered by pavements, the number of trees, the width of footpaths and the number of hours a person spends in traffic jams each year.
Where is your paradise? You can use SAS’ free, online Paradise Configurator tool to find your own personal perfect place in just a few clicks.