What we do

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We provide the following services to clients in the private, public and third sectors:

Research, analysis and evidence

We consider ourselves to be experts in generating the evidence our clients need to understand their environment and make informed decisions.  Our team offers a full range of quantitative and qualitative research and analysis skills, with a focus on intelligent presentation of findings and clear interpretation of evidence.

We can deliver research based on both primary and secondary data.  We have experience in designing and executing small and large scale surveys, delivered online, face to face or, working with our survey partners, through telephone CATI systems.  We also deliver depth interviews, facilitated workshops and focus groups to generate detailed qualitative evidence.

We consider ourselves to be expert in the range of secondary data available to support economic policy research.  Our team hold Approved Researcher status with the Office of National Statistics and regularly access granular survey data through the Secure Research Service. This demonstrates not only our capability to go beyond published statistics, but also our credentials in dealing with confidential data.

Strategy and policy development

We help our clients design strategies and policies to achieve their organisational goals and deliver sustainable impact for sectors, communities and places.

In designing strategies and policies, our starting point is extracting the maximum insight from the available evidence base, identifying the strengths upon which to build, weaknesses to mitigate and market failures to address. We look beyond the headlines to understand what is driving the results observed in the data – they ‘why’ and ‘how’ to explain the ‘what’. This allows us to identify the factors that need to be changed – through strategy design and implementation – in order to influence outcomes and achieve strategic goals.

Working in partnership with our clients and the stakeholders for each project is crucial when developing strategy.  Through collaboration we build local ownership of the emerging strategy and avoid a ‘not made here’ response which inevitably limits the impact of a strategy that has been conceived without the input of local stakeholders and delivery partners.  Gaining local commitment to the strategy and the actions that flow from it is vital to long term success.

Evaluation and impact assessment

Assessing the impact of physical infrastructure, initiatives, projects and programmes

We have a long-standing track record in delivering impact assessments and evaluations of organisations, projects, programmes, investments, infrastructure and strategies.

Our focus is on helping our clients understand the difference that their activities have made – be it on people, businesses, a local economy, sector or community.  We employ our technical evaluation and impact assessment skills, including Green Book approaches, to anticipate and evidence impact and outcomes.  We also aim to support our clients through the process, whether this be in gathering data, internal reporting on outcomes or evolving activities and behaviour based on emerging findings or formative assessments.

Our evaluation services include framework design and ex-ante, interim and ex-post evaluation delivery, economic and social impact assessments (including indirect and induced impacts).

 

Our key technical skills include:

Secondary data capture and analysis.  We understand intimately the data landscape for economic research studies.  We know how to source, manipulate and analyse data to identify key messages and their implications.  Data presentation and visualisation are key elements of this.  We hold Approved Researcher status with the Office of National Statistics in the UK.  Our work also leads us to use data from other countries (e.g. Australia and USA), so we build on our extensive expertise in understanding data and how it can be employed beyond our own shores.

Primary data capture and analysis.  Our projects, whether research or evaluation in nature, often stretch beyond the utility of secondary data.  We need to capture new primary data, often from businesses, education institutions, policy makers and others that hold a stake in the economies we investigate.  We have a long history of designing questionnaire and other tools to capture quantitative and qualitative data in a consistent and perceptive way.  We work with professional market research companies when surveys are at scale.

Project and resource management.  Even the smallest projects require careful planning and delivery.  We use a blend of formal project management skills with tools to design, plan, deliver and monitor project performance.  We do this in a transparent and open manner, working with our clients to overcome the challenges that inevitably strike in complex research projects.

Reporting and communication.  Whatever the results of our work, these need presenting and communicating in order for their value to be truly maximised.  Whether it be a formal research report, data tool, presentation or executive summary, we use a blend of narrative and visuals to get our message across.  We are highly experience at presenting findings to technical, policy and other audiences.

Working with others.  Our associate and partner network fills in any gaps in our knowledge or skill sets.  We work with a range of individuals and companies in collaboration to ensure the appropriate team is fielded for each project.  Our project and resource management approaches allow us to do so in a seamless and highly efficient way so that our client gets the best of both worlds – a multidisciplinary and highly skills supplier working productively to deliver their project to time and budget.