nquiringminds, a technology company at the Southampton University Science Park has developed an Economic Analyser application for Cities. It is a smart data analytics application to help city planners level up areas of poverty. By ingesting a myriad of city data, it can analyse, benchmark and scenario plan targeted financial investment and decision making to effectively apply levelling up money and public sector attention.
We’re really excited to be involved in this pilot project. Belfast is putting in place an ambitious post-Covid blueprint for the city that will shape how we deliver services, how we support our businesses, and how we can make the city more attractive for families, visitors and those who work here. We want to use the economic analyser tool to generate novel insights to inform our approach by enhancing our understanding of the economic health of the city and ultimately help us plan more effective public programmes and interventions.
John Greer, Director of Economic Development Place & Economy, Belfast City Council
Through close working with cities across the UK and funding from Innovate UK, the Economic Analyser has been designed for people with responsibility for economic growth and it takes account of multiple factors such as business rates, companies house data, employment figures, salary levels and 20 other quantitative data streams to produce visualization maps which highlight pressure points and act as a benchmark for proactive intervention. It can scenario plan the impact of incentives, business rate changes and policy decisions to examine how levelling up can be achieved over the next 5 years. The tool gives clear graphical presentations and maps of exactly who is affected and by how much for each intervention.
Building on the TDX business rates analytics, developed for Belfast City Council which identifies lost business rates revenues and implements workflow to optimise collection. Economic Analyser goes a whole lot further and helps economic planners look strategically at an area, city, or region across many dimensions and allows trends, benchmarking and future interventions to be planned and adjusted to level up poorer economic regions. Sophisticated AI analytics processes are applied across datasets to intelligently predict the effect of regeneration activities.
The easiest way to explain the Economic Analyser is to compare it to a powerful microscope. The city planner can get under the hood of the city and really see what is going on with live and historical data. It does three things. Firstly, it shows what’s going on, on a building by building basis, street by street, district by district level. Secondly it shows the risks, the anomalies, and the big picture issues. Thirdly it enables you to make changes and see the effects using our smart technology.
Nick Allott, Founder and CEO of NquiringMinds
The pilot use of the TDX Economic Analyser has been with the support of the Government innovation agency Innovate and has been designed in collaboration with Ealing, Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole and Belfast Councils.
Levelling up is the goal of this government and the TDX economic analyser application really can help local authorities to improve decision making to re-generate and expand the local economy. Using data analysis and forecasting the application improves understanding to help plan and manage the local economy. Intelligent analysis of business rates data and other key variables, combining multiple data sources, including GIS and companies house, provides a rich context around the underlying rates data. The economic analyser has been developed hand in hand with local authorities to increase revenue, improve the environment and deliver a better quality of life to citizens.
The idea behind the Economic Analyser came from the decline of the high street, the need to help with the Covid recovery and the power of the TDX to securely pull together all the relevant data that is held by different organisations and in different formats. This Economic Analyser is exciting as the technology it is based on can potentially be harnessed to address other key issues for the public sector, not just levelling up, but with planning schools, housing, transport, employment and how to achieve net zero. It is meant to be a tool for planners to use technology for positive change.
nquiringminds is an R&D company innovating in the public sector and cyber security areas of smart data. The TDX is a secure “internet of things” platform with integrated data visualization and analytics. They have been selected by InnovateUK as the data integration platform for the Future City Solutions Program. Cisco identified them as one of the top 15 IOT companies, in their Cisco Pioneers competition.
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