Working out loud

Expert Insights vs. Automated Reports: Striking a Balance

Since joining The Data City last October, one of the main things that I have been working on is automated reports. You may have seen we now have a summary page for each of our RTICs. Haven’t seen it? Check them out in all their glory. With only a few exceptions, we have a written report for each of these pages.

The script I’ve written allows me to produce a report for a particular RTIC on demand. The intention here is to make our data and insights more accessible, by us reducing the work that has to be done on your end to derive insights.

Reports, what are they good for?

There is a balance to this. Automated reports are good at providing broad insights at scale, but to provide more specific and niche insights, it can get complicated and time intensive and this doesn’t scale particularly well. For the detailed insights, there is no replacement for experts’ input.


In addition to written reports, I’ve been working on other variations. I have a script that can produce slidepacks containing summary information for a sector in a particular location. We think these could be really beneficial for local enterprise partnerships (LEPs), mayoral authorities and local authorities.

As the next election approaches and the conversation turns to strategy and manifestos, we expect there’ll be more talk about clusters. I think this slidepack could help in answering foundational questions about clusters – as I say there’s no replacement for expert insights, but providing an indication of the industries that exist in a particular area is something we can do at scale.

We want to hear from you

Why am I writing this? All in all, I probably have around 6000 lines of code that I’ve written to generate automated insights. Before I write more, I want to check in.

  • Are you using our platform in a way you feel could benefit from automation?
  • Are you providing insights at scale that we could help automate?

Get in touch at [email protected] or contact us today.

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