Speed dating: bringing the Regional Data & Intelligence Network together

Attendees at all-group networking eventLast Friday, for the first time in its history, we brought together all the groups associated with the Regional Data and Intelligence Network. Members of the Economy & Labour Force, Population & Society, Environment and Geographical Information groups met, with the aim of drawing the network closer together and identifying common areas of work.

Group members include data analysts, research officers, academics, policy officers and information managers. These groups, the wider data and intelligence community of the region, are able to support and influence the work of the Regional Observatory. As well as informing the Observatory’s Partnership Board, their work plans contribute to achieving the Observatory’s Business Plan (pdf, 410kb).

Rosie Paskins, Chief Executive of the Observatory, kicked off the event with a presentation on emerging findings from the Observatory’s post-recession work, which stimulated a broad discussion on the future of the region.

Following the individual meetings of the groups, we held a ‘speed networking’ session. This gave individual group members the opportunity to network together, discuss common areas of work and develop useful contacts for the future. Discussions between the different group members went so well, that the signal to change seats was drowned out by the buzz of conversation. The session marked an important step in moving the network away from ‘topic silos’, and find practical ways to link research and policy areas.

After the networking session, representatives from each of the groups met to  prioritise gaps on the regional research gap register. The register is now fully up to date, and a number of the gaps will be progressed and filled as a result.

If you’d like to know more, or would be interested in joining the network, please contact oliver.nicholls@wmro.org

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