Gareth Henry is a Senior Socio-Economic Researcher in Hampshire County Council’s Economic Business & Intelligence Service. His key areas of responsibility are undertaking economic profiles for both internal and external customers to underpin strategic economic planning, supporting capital funding and inward investment bids, sector-specific research and economic monitoring. Gareth completed the IED’s ‘Economic data and evidence-based strategies’ CPD workshop in London in June 2019.
The course, facilitated by Lichfields, was recommended to Gareth by Hampshire County Council’s Assistant Director – Economic Development, David Fletcher, who had attended previous IED CPD workshops. “My first objective from signing up to the one-day workshop was to gain further insight into the data needs of Economic Development Officers (EDO), and secondly to tap into any additional sources, methods or best practice from the course lead and by networking with attendees,” Gareth said. “The course met both objectives by refreshing and reinforcing my knowledge of the available data sources and gaining a better understanding of EDO requirements. The practical exercises were most useful by serving a dual purpose; to build on the workshop’s content and to facilitate deeper learning through the sharing of actual experiences with other attendees.”
Although already an experienced data analyst, Gareth explained how he has been able to apply the workshop content to his day-to-day work at the Council. “The sections on the relationship between data, interpretation and policy outcomes have certainly been applied to ensure I meet the needs of EDO colleagues going forward,” he said. “The phrase on being able to communicate a ‘clear line of sight’ from the data to (strategic) outcomes provided a helpful reminder on adapting to audience/client needs. I would certainly recommend the course for EDOs to give them a fuller understanding of what data is available but also their limitations. That can only improve the analyst-EDO working relationship. It is also worthwhile for analysts and researchers as a refresher course, but more importantly to network with EDOs to gain a better insight into their needs and experiences.”