Better ways to share information digitally

Green human figures connected by blue lines

The Observatory’s Population & Society Group is planning a seminar in the summer to investigate and discuss how research organisations in the West Midlands can get better at sharing information digitally. Do you have any thoughts on this?

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Got something useful you’d like to share?

As part of our strategic objectives, we aim to provide effective access to intelligence to encourage higher standards of evidence-​based decision-​making. One of the ways in which we do this is by providing a resource catalogue of research, data and intelligence about the West Midlands and its sub-regions.

The catalogue is built through contributions from Observatory staff and others around the region who want to share research that they’ve produced or found useful themselves. However, we recognise that sometimes people don’t have the time to complete a full submission to the catalogue, so we’ve introduced a new quick recommend a resource form.

All you need to enter on the recommend a resource form is the title of the resource and URL where it is located, along with your email address in case we need to contact you with any queries about it.

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Should the Observatory keep blogging?

This Observations blog was set up in July 2008. Formally, the aim is to support one of our strategic objectives:

Provide effective access to intelligence to encourage higher standards of evidence–based decision-making

Also, as the first foray into blogging at the Observatory, it’s an experiment to see what happens when we share information in this way.

Six months on and this blog is being reviewed. At the end of January 2009, the Observatory’s management team will decide whether we will continue blogging here.

Your feedback on how we’re doing would be much appreciated. Do you find this blog useful? Are the posts relevant to your work? Is this blog providing “effective access to intelligence”?

The economic downturn – impact on skills and the labour market

November 2008 economic downturn briefing paperOur November 2008 briefing paper on the Economic Downturn, produced by WMRO’s Skills team, examines how the current economic climate is affecting the West Midlands in terms of skills and the labour market as a whole.

Here are the key headlines for quarter 3 of 2008:

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Sharing intelligence from Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire

Yesterday, I attended the Coventry, Solihull and Wawickshire Researchers’ Forum to demonstrate the Observatory’s Resource Catalogue and show how the data and intelligence in the catalogue might support the work that they’re engaged in, and also to encourage further contributions to the catalogue from members of the forum to help share their data and intelligence across the region and sub-region.

The Resource Catalogue is available through the Observatory’s website and collects research, data and policy documents from across the West Midlands to create a fully searchable database for policy makers, decision makers, researchers and anyone else to access. There are contributions from organisations across the public, private and third sectors and what is particularly useful is that almost all are free and available immediately via a web-link.

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Have your say!

We at the Observatory aim to provide you with a first class information service on the region, and a website that makes this easy for you to do. Recently we have been thinking about what we could do to improve finding information on our website and how we could lay it out better for you.

To help me with this I would be very grateful if you could give me five minutes of your time to complete an online questionnaire about it.

Please use this link to access the questionnaire

Building a Register of Consultants

We’re developing a new directory for public agencies and the voluntary sector to use when searching for organisations to invite to tender for research projects.

Why are we doing this?

The Register of Consultants aims to solve two issues originally identified by the Economy & Labour Force Group:

  1. The same usual suspects are asked to carry out research within the West Midlands region.
  2. Public sector agencies and voluntary organisations would like to speak to previous clients who have used a research consultancy to learn if the consultancy is suitable to invite to tender.

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