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Case Study | Data Needs Analysis Project

Data Needs Analysis Project

Research overview

This project worked with a Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) whose primary focus is on business, enterprise and growth within their region to attract inward investment to make the area a desirable place to live and work.

In England, LEPs are voluntary partnerships between local authorities and businesses set up in 2011 by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to help determine local economic priorities and lead economic growth and job creation within the local area.

The main focus of this project was to align the Local Enterprise Partnership’s data requirements with their policy objectives to ensure they were focusing on the areas that would assist local businesses and local authorities to the best of their potential. The major focus was to review the key strategic decisions/policy objectives that are aligned with economic growth and job creation in their LEP area with the intention of discovering their data needs.

 How the research helps

In order to make the best decisions, the LEP must take a data-driven, decision-making approach and to leverage the potential of analytics related to their data needs.

The research evaluated what data was being used and analysed what data was required to meet the key policy objectives of the LEP. Additional data sources were studied in detail, their capacities and offerings were compared with existing databases being used by the LEP to present an in-depth analysis.


This research and subsequent report highlight the importance of leveraging the full data potential for achieving the LEP’s prioritised objectives. This research recommends data to be used that will ensure the LEP’s effectiveness in meeting the government’s expectations and giving taxpayers value for their money. The report also shows how the maximum potential value can be obtained from each database as to avoid any extra costs.

The data

The research explored what data the LEP is already utilising; this included a number of different data types from structured small datasets to much larger unstructured data sources.

As well as reviewing the data already available to the LEP, interviews and surveys were employed to gather primary data from key decision makers within the LEP. Further research was done to identify other datasets that would be beneficial to the LEP.

The research

To identify whether the LEP was making the most of its data, a data requirement analysis was carried out using methods such as one-to-one interviews, reverse engineering, questionnaires and surveys.

The obvious gaps in their data needs were noted by analysing the interviewee’s remarks. A literature review of data requirements for their core business objectives including economic growth, job creation and social development in the LEP area was undertaken. The research highlighted the major gaps in the LEP’s data needs.

A number of experts in the field were approached to learn about other potential available data sources, these were then identified to fill the gaps in the data requirements. The research presented recommendations for additional data sources but also showed that the LEP has specific data needs and that there are still some areas where existing data sources are either not sufficient or do not satisfy the requirements.

Report authors