‘How does the North win?’ insights & next steps

What does success in the North look like in 2024 when it comes to the economy, productivity, innovation and beyond? And how can we win on our own terms?

These were the questions posed by Open Innovations at their ‘How does the North win?’ conference hosted in Leeds on the 20th of March 2024.

The conference

Hosted at Arup’s new home in Leeds, The Data City team were on hand as attendees, sponsors and speakers, exploring the concept of ‘winning’ in the North.

But ‘winning’ means different things to different people. So, it was great to hear from a huge cross section of speakers throughout the afternoon, all with their own take on how the North can prosper.

How does the north win

From Leeds City Council and Youth Futures Foundation to Centre for Cities and the Financial Times, outcomes focused on key themes. Collaboration, driving investment, cultivating innovation, the net zero opportunity, finding our economic gaps, inclusivity and equality, were all among the topics discussed.

It’s also no surprise, that data was also at the forefront of the discussion. Where do we get our data from? How reliable is it? And how can we better use data to measure of successes and inform our decisions?

How do we win with data?

These are the sort of questions we at The Data City are empowering our clients, partners and the wider UK market to ask.

So how does the North win on its own terms? It’s a question we’ve thought a lot about at The Data City, both before and since the event took place. It’s a question integral to both our company and the clients and partners we work with.

Since we started The Data City, our goal has been to enable businesses and organisations to do their best work. To win.

We’ve developed brand new, innovative methods to track and understand the UK’s growing economy in the form of our Real-Time Industrial Classifications (RTICS). These company classifications go beyond the limitations of traditional forms of company classification (we’re looking at you SIC codes) and are driving impact across both the public and private sector.

Examples of ‘winning’

This has allowed policymakers, investors, economists, consultants and many more to take the guesswork out of their analysis, and instead have a more accurate, and accessible view of the businesses and sectors that make up the UK economy.

And we’re already seeing the effect of better data across the North and the rest of the UK.

Companies like Centre for Cities are making use of our RTICs to show the impact of innovative companies in cities across the UK.

Centre for Cities Outlook Report

Their 2024 Cities Outlook report used data to give a comprehensive overview of urban Britain in what was set to be an election year. Their findings, harnessing our data, showed how performance of ‘new economy’ sectors is vital to for the UK’s productivity and prosperity. However, the research also showed there was a need for innovative firms outside of the Greater South East.

Government is also using data to help us win. The Department for Science, Innovation & Technology (DSIT), along with Cambridge Econometrics, The Data City and Innovation Caucus have published an Innovation Clusters Map.

DSIT Innovation Clusters Map

Presenting a comprehensive view of UK firm-level innovation activity, the open tool, allows users to explore the geography, distribution and strengths of clusters.

This new approach is playing a vital role in increasing private investment, promoting innovative companies and ensuring people across the UK (and the North) can benefit from the innovation-led economy.

But there’s more to be done.

What’s next?

Following on from the conference hosted by Open Innovations, we’re keen to do more to support the initiative that allows the North to win.

The session concluded with a workshop and discussion about what we can do now. What actions could we take, short-term, to move the needle and allow the North to better prosper. And it’s something we’re keen to take offline and run with.

At The Data City, we believe the North, and the rest of the UK (and the world for that matter) shouldn’t be limited by outdated and ineffective data. We’re dedicated to liberating researchers and economists and investors and game-changers, giving them access to data that’s easier to access, more accurate and effects change.

Looking forward we aim to:

  • Contribute to additional ‘How the North wins?’ conferences and workshops
  • Fly the flag for real-time data, with the aim of replacing outdated classification methods
  • Continue to build data infrastructure that helps is all win

You can read more about Open Innovation’s ‘How does the North win?’ event and story on their blog written by Paul Connell.

Keen to find out more about what we’re doing, and how we’re doing it? We encourage you to get hands on with our data and ask questions. Why not sign up for a free trial today.

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