Using data to understand levelling up headlines latest meeting of Midlands Engine Intelligence Community

Date posted: September 9, 2021
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A damp pavement with city lights reflections glittering

Using real-time spending and economic data to help level up the Midlands, a new economic forecasting model and a practical demonstration of the Observatory’s Intelligence Hub were just some of the highlights at the latest meeting of the Midlands Engine Intelligence Community.

The MEIC meets quarterly to share intelligence, enable stakeholders to contribute to the work of the Midlands Engine Observatory and explore opportunities to collaborate.

Addressing the meeting, Professor John Gathergood of the University of Nottingham and the Data-Driven Discovery Initiative (3Di), introduced new research hosted on tracktheconomy.ac.uk that uses real-time, local-level indicators of economic activity to provide insights on how to maximise the impact of levelling up funds.

Professor Gathergood’s team has partnered with Experian, Fable Data and Huq to source data from consumer and company credit files, transaction-level data on consumer spending and geolocation to track, at the local authority level, consumer and firm financial distress, measures of consumer mobility and consumer spending.

Elsewhere, Kerry Houston of Oxford Economics introduced the new economic forecasting model available to support Midlands Engine partners.

The model, commissioned by Midlands Engine in partnership with WMCA and Midlands Connect, will provide baseline forecasts across a wide range of indicators down to Local Authority level alongside the ability to create alternative vision scenarios and conduct impact assessments.

Also at the meeting, the Observatory’s Charlie Hopkirk presented a new report outlining the challenges and opportunities in the region’s manufacturing sector.

This second report is designed to be an accompanying piece to Midlands Engine Makes: The Home of British Manufacturing which was published earlier this year.

Rounding out the meeting, attendees were given a demonstration of the Midlands Engine Observatory Intelligence Hub.

Launched in July 2021, the Hub gives partners access to real-time data and spatial visualisations via dynamic Dashboards, the latest intelligence briefings, reports and primary research.

The Hub also hosts insight pieces by leading academics that explain what collected data and published research mean for real lives, and what policy interventions may be effective.

Membership of the MEIC is available to any data owner or those who work with research and intelligence linked to any aspect of the Midlands economy.

For more information or to join the MEIC, please contact Midlands Engine.

For the latest from our region, subscribe to Midlands Matters, the official newsletter of the Midlands Engine.
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