Meet Reen Blake-Carr, City-REDI’s New Policy and Data Analyst

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I have been with the City-REDI team since July 2021, when I started out as an intern on placement for 13 weeks. During my internship, I worked on building City-REDI’s database of economic indicators for the region, which would allow colleagues to visit a ‘one-stop-shop’ to find the relevant data needed for projects. Using the data collected through the database, I also constructed interactive dashboards of economic indicators, through data visualisation software such as Tableau. These dashboards sit alongside City-REDI projects and allow policymakers to visually compare current economic indicators, allowing them to make better-informed policy decisions.

I graduated from the University of Salford where I studied BSc Psychology and Criminology, in which I investigated different theories as to why crime could be more prevalent in certain areas based on a range of different factors such as gender, socioeconomic status, population levels, and amount of funding the local authority has for the area.

I graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University in 2020 with a degree in MSc Computing where I learned about different programming languages, how to construct and operate databases and machine learning algorithms, such as how to use decision trees and neural networks to name some. For my dissertation, I looked at using fuzzy logic to predict the likelihood of diabetes development in pregnant women.

During my time at City-REDI, I would like to combine what I learned about machine learning in my postgraduate degree, with the statistical skills I gained from doing my undergraduate degree. My goals whilst at City-REDI are to use my skills to support the wider team and to learn from my colleagues/academics in order to advance my knowledge.

Going forward I am looking forward to building databases for City-REDI and I am hoping to utilise my machine learning skills to improve this process in the future. Currently, I am continuing to work on the building of the City-REDI database, including a robust database on businesses within the region, which would be highly beneficial to understanding the makeup of businesses within the region. I am excited to be working at City-REDI at such a busy and engaging time, where I have the opportunity to utilise my skills in computing and research. I am very proud to be part of such as welcoming and friendly team.

This blog was written by  Reen Blake-Carr, Policy and Data Analyst, City-REDI / WMREDI, University of Birmingham. 

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

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