Building R&I capacity in the East Midlands
Local authorities in the East Midlands have been spending considerable time collating datasets for strategic assessment and service improvement. Responsibility for collation is typically spread across a range of services in councils (and partners) creating the risk of duplication. Data managers and their teams have been carrying out large amounts of work to repackage nationally available data for local needs.Analytical capacity has been stretched by such demands and available data are not always used to the full. Research and intelligence has not always been joined up where and when it matters – within local authorities and across partners.Derrick Johnstone was commissioned by the East Midlands Improvement and Efficiency Partnership to undertake a scoping project to:
- clarify common needs for improved access to, and use of data, including the use of tools such as MOSAIC, ACORN and OAC (ONS) and the resources of regional and sub-regional observatories
- identify the potential for further pan-regional collaboration, including ways of developing and making better use of regional and sub-regional R&I infrastructure
- assess models for joint use and acquisition of Customer Insight packages, along with potential savings through joint procurement arrangements
- identify priorities for learning and sharing good practice, to inform the future work of the Improvement and Efficiency Partnership
The report provided the basis for regional consultation, and led to the East Midlands Customer Insight and Research project, on which Derrick acted as an advisor. This project had two strands: one to developing skills and networks relating to research and analysis; the other a series of sub-regional demonstration projects applying customer insight and research methods in seeking to raise aspirations and the reduce the numbers of young people who are NEET (not in education, employment or training).
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