Meet Josh Swan, Policy and Data Analyst at City-REDI

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Since joining the City-REDI Team in July 2019 I have explored many interesting concepts in economics, entrepreneurship and business. I graduated from the University of Birmingham in 2015 with a degree in BA Political Economy where I looked into the main characteristics of the National and Global Economy. In particular, I enjoyed looking at how competition can foster innovation and expertise at a business level, but also at a global level when I looked at both the USA and USSR in the cold war and the technological advances that came about as a result of competition. For my dissertation, I looked at the impact of 9/11 on the USA and the global economy as well as designing my own matrix for measuring the impact of democracy that was based on the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index from the economist.

During my studies, I incorporated my own limited company that specialised in both hardware and software solutions. I learned the value of business partnerships in working with my suppliers, distribution networks and interacting with my customers. Starting my own company lead me to take a job full-time job in the IT sector for a company in Birmingham. It was during this time working as a software specialist that I discovered the route of Data Analytics and how essential it is to organisations to have fast, reliable data in the hands of decision-makers.

I moved away from the IT sector to gain further experience in data by working for a Private Health Organisation. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of working with many different councils to deliver services that helped people lead a healthier lifestyle, which ultimately led to peoples’ lives being extended. I extensively developed my SQL coding skills and began specialising in relational database management which enabled me to better manage data on a larger scale.

By joining the City-REDI team I have come full-circle back to my interest in regional economics, business and entrepreneurship, as well as, coming back to the University of Birmingham where I first discovered my academic and business interests. My experience with data in real companies has helped me to focus more on quantitative research and efficiently depicting datasets in a way that can influence policy and beyond. Primarily I am interested in automation as a concept in business and productivity, as well as, in the data that we use.

This blog was written by Josh Swan, Policy and Data Analyst, City-REDI.

The views expressed in this analysis post are those of the authors and not necessarily those of City-REDI or the University of Birmingham.

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