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EETS Write Up

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A paper written during my time at BLNW for Chis Huhne Secretary of State for the Environmentt on defining Green Technology Businesses

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EETS Write Up

  1. 1. Business Link NorthWest Business Performance Index (BPI) EETS Dashboard Overview Ged Mirfin – June 2010 Scope of Report The report is an overview of the capabilities and attributes of the EETS BPI (Business Performance Index) Qlikview Dashboard developed by Business Link North West (hereafter BLNW). The report highlights the data sources used in the construction of the EETS Dashboard as well as the ways in which the system is currently being used. The final section looks at the possible future uses for the EETS Dashboard. The Problem with SIC Codes EETS Sector Definition has been a major issue because of over reliance on and the limitations of SIC Codes in Official Government Documents. National Statistics which use UK Standard Industrial Classifications (SIC) do not accurately reflect the structure of the Energy and Environmental Technology (EETS) Sector. The current definition used by BIS of the EETS Sector is too broad and insufficiently complex and detailed in nature to identify the New Specialist Environmentally Focussed Green Technology Businesses that are emerging. Some EETS Businesses are so “New” that they do not have SIC Codes to describe them. Interestingly, only Environmental Consultants were distinctly recognised in SIC 2007 as Environmental Businesses. Identification of EETS Businesses, meanwhile, using the LCEGS (Low Carbon and Environmental Goods and Services) Sector Classification System originated by Innovas originally on behalf of BERR has proved difficult to interpret and even more difficult to operationalize. It is our current understanding that, as yet, no attempt has been made to append the classification set across the UK Business base as a whole. Consequently, the classification set has not only been applied inconsistently across sector but more important, its application within the North West Region is incomplete. The Primary Motivation behind BLNW’s attempt to build a Complete Data Set of EETS Businesses within the North West is an ongoing frustration with identifying and marketing to the EETS Sector. The Current SIC Code based EETS definition was felt both to be too unsophisticated to target the Sector with sufficient precision but also, based on segmentation using an overlapping set of complimentary Business Classification Systems, was felt to significantly understate the size of the Sector. A fact confirmed on the ground by the feedback from BLNW’s adviser community. A large and growing number of Businesses that are currently classified as operating within other Regional Economic Strategy (RES) Sectors are effectively re-inventing themselves as Environmental Businesses in order to take advantage of niche market opportunities but also to differentiate themselves from their competitors via a Green Product or Service offering. This re-invention is not simply an attempt by Companies to redefine how it sees itself and is seen by others but is also evidenced by Market and Product re-positioning and more significantly fundamental changes to Business and Manufacturing Processes. In order to create a more accurately defined database of EETS Sector Businesses we employed an approached based on the use of an overlapping set of different Classification Systems, including: • SIC 1992, 2003 & 2007 • Yell Codes • Thompson Codes
  2. 2. • Nature of Business Descriptors The SIC Codes used were the ones currently used by both: the NWDA, BLNW and Envirolink to define the existing EETS Sector. It is to be noted that the Nuclear Industry SIC Codes are currently absent from the SIC Code based RES Sector definition Individual Yell and Thompson Codes were selected from a complete list of code sets selected, following detailed scrutiny by NWDA EETS Sector Managers; Envirolink and the BLNW EETS RES Sector Managers, Team Leaders and Advisors. Yell and Thomson Codes Use of Yell and Thomson Codes improves granularity over SIC Codes. Yell and Thomson Codes are self selected by Businesses and reflect how a Business visualises itself in terms of the market Sectors in which it operates and how it positions itself in terms of advertising to its customer base. Yell and Thomson Codes are what Businesses use to tell the world what they’re actually good at! SIC Codes, in comparison are used as part of the Statutory Returns filed at Companies House, often by the Company Accountant or Business Registration Agent. The problem is significantly exacerbated, with regard to some of the big catch-all SIC Codes which begin, “Other,” and end in “Not Elsewhere Classified”. Such imprecise SIC Codes cover a multitude of sins and, of course, Company Activities. Using Yell Data With SIC – Other Computer Related Activities SIC 2003 SIC 2003 to Yell SIC 2003 Description Locations Other computer related activities 4,531 SIC 2003 Description Yellow Pages Classification Locatio ns Other computer related activities Unknown 3,032 Other computer related activities Computer Services 933 Other computer related activities Internet Web Design 207 Other computer related activities Computer Training 87 Other computer related activities Internet Services 75 Other computer related activities Computer Networking & Cabling 69 Other computer related activities Computer Aided Design Services 58 Other computer related activities Telecommunication Eqpt 32 Other computer related activities Data Recovery 10 Other computer related activities Document & Data Destruction 8 Other computer related activities Computer Security 7 Other computer related activities Multimedia Services 5 Other computer related activities Videoconferencing 4 Other computer related activities Publishers & Publications 2 Other computer related activities Information Services 1 Other computer related activities Secretarial Services 1 Sum: 4,531 More problematically the Activity of a Company changes over time as what it actually does becomes clear for all to see. Often therefore SIC Codes quickly come to bear little representation to what the company does or the sector in which it actually operates. All industry Sectors, in comparison, are represented extremely well in Yell and very precisely defined. An example is given below of the amount of detail that is used to define an Industrial Sector is
  3. 3. “Internet Web Design & Development” •Web hosting: If you want a website for your customers to visit, this is a vital internet service. A good web hosting service will ensure the pages of your web site appear quickly and reliably. •Domain name: The part of an email address after the @ sign. Many internet service providers enable you to buy your own domain name, so you can have an email (and website) address personalised with your own or your company's name. •Software development: This is where a computer service company writes software for you to meet a specific requirement. Some computer service companies will write whole programs, while others just write tools to get one program talking to, or sharing data with, another. •e-commerce: Doing business on the internet. Supply of an e-commerce enabled web site, which allows visitors to pay for goods and services. A fast moving sector, meanwhile, requires a quickly adaptable classification – companies chasing market niches update their Yell and Thomson adverts faster than their SIC codes – which they update rarely if at all creating a very misleading picture of the industry sector mix in the UK. When the key to making a sale is either Consumers or Other Businesses being able to locate a Product or Service rapidly then precise definition is important, especially as the emphasis has moved away from listings and Adverts placed in Printed Directories to Web Adverts and Listings in On-line Directories. The speed to (re)definition or definition of New Business Types or Sectors is extremely rapid because it is driven by Commercial Imperative and not hindered by lack of Academic Consensus. ONS would be advised to bear this point in mind when it comes to the impetus to overhaul and fundamentally overhaul an outdated and outmoded way of classifying New High-Tech, High Growth Industries in the New Economy. Indeed it might be argued that a central deficiency of policy making relates to a lack of precision in defining Industry Sectors and the inability therefore to measure the impact of policy with sufficient precision. Access to Yell and Thomson Codes has allowed us to fill the glaring gaps left by SIC Codes in a very neat and precise way. Nature of Business Descriptors Nature of Business Descriptors, are written by the Businesses themselves and detail the Key Activity of the Business and its Environmental focus. Textual Analysis techniques were applied to the Business Descriptors creating “Single” & “Paired” Key Words from a Lexicon of Commonly Appearing Key Words and Phrases provided by Envirolink (which was partly based on an analytical profile of the Companies in the Envirolink Database that had received a service) as well as from the BLNW’s CRM System based on an Analysis of Internal Business Descriptors and the Text of Action Plans.
  4. 4. Yell Class Thomson SIC 1992, 2003 or 2007 Nature of Business Keyword Identifying the DCI Sector Utilising Overlapping Classifications Flexibility The ability to utilise multiple business classifications from various sources as well as the keyword descriptors provides a breadth of analysis that virtually eliminates businesses for which we have no classification data. The potential size of the pot for businesses BLNW misses is very small. Following Extraction of the Data based on use of the overlapping classification systems above a Dependability Score is then applied to each Business Record. The greater the overlap between the differing forms of classification, the greater dependability of the EETS identification. Creating the Database involved manual inspection of each Record at different levels of dependability down to the lowest level of dependability, it was not simply that Business Activity Descriptors were regarded as tie-breakers or that any one of the overlapping classification systems was regarded as being any more important than the other. Yell Class Thomson Not In Yell Not In Thomson SIC 2007 Nature of Business Keyword Spurious Keyword Unknown SIC 2007 Yell Class How businesses advertise themselves in Yell. EETS related classes defined by BLNW sector specialists. Thomson Class How businesses advertise themselves in Thomson. EETS related classes defined by BLNW warehouse correlation. SIC 2007 Business Classifications gained from Experian data and BLNW advisor CRM entries. Nature of Business EETS keywords, determined by analysis of 5k known EETS businesses, appearing in the self determined nature of business field. Identifying EETS Businesses with the BPI Dependability The greater the overlap between the differing forms of classification and business description, the greater the dependability of the EETS identification. This is indicated in reports by the BLNW EETS Score. EETS Score 100 Excellent dependability EETS Score 90 Very good dependability EETS Score 80 Good dependability Development Path
  5. 5. First Phase - Define BLNW built an Elaborate Definition based on using an overlapping set of Data Classification Systems which used variables from carefully itemised list. Second Phase – Definitional Refinement Access to a wide variety of classification systems, meant that it is possible to define Sectors very precisely and visualise gaps and overlaps. This lessened dependability on SIC Codes considerably improving Sector identification accuracy. Overlaps between different classification systems dramatically increases reliability It is to be accepted that not all Business advertise in Yell and Thomson. Indeed, on average, c.40% of Businesses, choose not to do so. Either they don’t need to do so or Advertising in Directories is not seen as a Productive Marketing or Cost Effective Sales Channel Strategy often for Businesses which are more Business to Business and Less Consumer Front Facing in their approach. In this instance we rely on either SIC 2007 or Business Activity Descriptors. As you can see from the graphic below the latter is particularly effective in revealing the activities of Business. When Yell Fails… Nature of Business – Other Computer Related Activities SIC 2003 to Yell Yell to Nature of Business SIC 2003 Description Yellow Pages Classification Locations Other computer related activities Unknown 3,032 Other computer related activities Computer Services 933 Other computer related activities Internet Web Design 207 Other computer related activities Computer Training 87 Other computer related activities Internet Services 75 Other computer related activities Computer Networking & Cabling 69 Other computer related activities Computer Aided Design Services 58 Other computer related activities Telecommunication Eqpt 32 Other computer related activities Data Recovery 10 Other computer related activities Document & Data Destruction 8 Other computer related activities Computer Security 7 Other computer related activities Multimedia Services 5 Other computer related activities Videoconferencing 4 Other computer related activities Publishers & Publications 2 Other computer related activities Information Services 1 Other computer related activities Secretarial Services 1 Sum: 4,531 Yellow Pages Classification Nature of Business Unknown 00Bespoke Application Development Unknown 3d and 2d animation for the broadcast tv industry. Unknown 3D Visual Design Unknown 3D visualising, animation and branding for architectural and construction industries Unknown Accountancy and web-site design services. Unknown Accountancy support. Unknown Accounting, auditing, tax consult. Unknown Adult Education Centres Unknown Advanced Sensor & Control Technologies Unknown Advertising. Unknown Architectural and design services Unknown Architectural, technical consultancy. Unknown Assett/Process tracking services for businesses serving Pharmaceutical, logistics, aviation & Manufacturing sectors Unknown Audio visual installation engineers, commenced on 1 june 2007. Unknown Audio-Visual Production & Presentation Services Unknown Automation and control design, installation and service. Unknown Automotive service engineers. Combining different classification systems means that hard to find Sectors and Sub-Sectors can be focused on providing us with a solution that is the best of all worlds. Quite simply, it means that we are able know something about the vast majority of businesses – there are very few for which we don’t have access to at least one form of classification. This means that overlapping classifications can be scored for reliability. Third Phase – Validate
  6. 6. Sector Definition is the key to accessing meaningful data. Definition however needs to be intuitive. For that to happen, definition needs to utilise experience on the ground. A wide range of opinions need to be included in any sector definitional review. This is particularly the case when you are confronted by Businesses that “just don’t fit” and it requires a judgement call based on extensive sector experience and knowledge to decide whether that Business is “in sector” or “out of sector”? This is why we turned internally to the specialist knowledge and insight of BLNW Sector Managers and Advisors and externally to the specialist knowledge and insight of Cluster Organisations & Industry Specialists. The support provided here by Geoff Crossley and the EETS Team at BLNW; Helen Seagrave and Jo Flanagan at the NWDA and Nick Storer and Emma Boyle at the NWDA – all of whom were able to draw upon wider banks of knowledge – was indispensable! High Level Validation of Data achieved through granular interrogation of data made possible by using the highly accessible and intuitive QlikView software platform contributed to a much more consensual way of building a sector definition Fourth Phase – Append – Innovas LCEGS and BLNW EETS Sector Classification Systems Appending of LCEGS (Low Carbon and Environmental Goods and Services) specialist sector definitions originated by Innovas starkly revealed the make-up of the EETS Sector and fundamental relationships between different tiers and hierarchies of the LCEGS Supply Chain in the North West in a much clearer way than previously and previously thought possible. As a Double Checking Mechanism and in order to overcome some of the inherent difficulties in using the LCEGS (Low Carbon and Environmental Goods and Services) Sector Classification System originated by Innovas, a two tier in-house EETS Sector Classification System was created by the EETS Adviser Team led by Geoff Crossley. The primary motivation behind its use and application was to employ a more coherent and rational identification of EETS Sector Companies on the BLNW CRM System but also to plug gaps and address anomalies created when attempting to overlay the LCEGS Sector Classification System. Further detail Analysis and Scrutiny of the Final Validated Data Set reveals that more simplified system is markedly more robust and far less contentious. The various categories which make up the BLNW EETS Classification System are set out in the graphic on the page following. Fifth Phase – Analyse, Report & Share QlikView is a software tool for analyzing multi-dimensional data. It is a point-and-click-simple way to view data and information and based on their patented in-memory associative technology, which is the company's main competitive advantage in the market. In addition, QlikView compresses data as it is brought into memory. And, because QlikView operates entirely in memory, every source performs lightning fast, regardless of the performance of the under system. QlikView provides end users with tools to craft their own view of data allowing you to manage data extraction and transformation. Because QlikView operates entirely in memory it does not require data to be stored in specific, aggregated, proprietary formats such as cubes. In addition, QlikView automatically detects and manages the associations between data tables. Thus, loading data into QlikView is as simple as loading individual tables and letting QlikView associate the data. QlikView therefore lets you bring together data from a wide variety of sources. End users therefore can be in charge of finding their own, business critical, slice of the data. Changes can be made in minutes, often by the end user. Condensing this process allows developers a high paced development cycle focused on delivering value to end users immediately.
  7. 7. QlikView provides a wide array of functions to analyze your data the way you want to see it. QlikView enables you to analyze data at the most granular level of detail required, providing unparalleled insight into the actual events and dependencies informing your business performance QlikView thus makes it for you to explore and understand data. In addition to seeing charts, graphs and numbers, associative analysis allows you to see and explore relationships that go beyond the linear and obvious. It lets you ask questions, test hypotheses, explore different data angles, and, more important share what you find. BLNW has brought the EETS Data into a much larger Multi-Dimensional Data Dashboard which will allow stakeholders from the EETS Community, including the NWDA and Envirolink, to Query the Data Set and generate a series of Detailed Cross-Tab Reports over the Web live on BLNW BPI Data Warehouse. This hybrid data is not available anywhere else in the market and is a unique attribute of the BPI Data Warehouse that BLNW has built. More complex Time Series Dashboards will be constructed in due course which will be based on a range of external data sources, including the monthly feed received from Experian as well as the Data in BLNW’s internal CRM system which is updated on a daily basis. Collaborative Data Driven Decision-Making The aim is to promote genuinely collaborative data-driven decision-making. QlikView will be critical in this process for the EETS Sector in the North West allowing Key Stakeholders to share data and analysis. QlikView delivers true teamwork capabilities to end users, to allow any level of information sharing. Bookmarked Data Selections can be emailed to colleagues and other collaborative partners. Sharing insights via QlikView means that everyone works from a single version of the truth – the same agreed data set. This will be of fundamental in breaking down siloed approaches to data analysis and be key to overcoming issues of data quality and data usability. It will be critical in confronting collaborators with the question of whether it is possible to link and share data and key data findings. The ability to report on the continually updated data on a regularised basis therefore will allow policy makers to assess the health of the EETS Sector and measure the impact of policy over time BLNW Sector Prioritisation Core Activities Industries Renewable Energy Hydro Wave and Tidal Biomass Wind Geothermal Energy Power generation (conventional Oil, Gas, Coal) Nuclear Power Generation Nuclear Power Decommissioning Power generation from waste Combined Heat Power Fuel Cells Environmental Air Pollution Control Environmental Consultancy Environmental Monitoring, Instrumentation & Control Marine Pollution Control Noise & Vibration Control Energy Transmission Distribution & storage of energy (electricity & hydrocarbons) Distribution of energy Switchgear DC/AC Conversion Lighting Low Energy Lighting Lighting design & innovation Emerging Energy & Environmental Sub Sectors Alternative Fuel Vehicles Alternative Fuels Production of Hydrogen Extraction of Coal, Oil, Gas, Biomass Insulation & energy conservation Heat Exchangers Trade in energy resources Land Remediation Waste Management Water Supply & Waste Water Treatment Recovery & Recycling Energy Efficiency Trade in recovered materials Transformers Smart grids Smart metering Solar photovoltaic Solar thermal LEDs Disposal & recycling of lighting units Energy Efficient Building Technologies Alternative Energy Sources.
  8. 8. Sixth Phase – Embed What we are talking about here is exploring the art of the possible – a two way exchange of data which is continually enriched by activity captured in the CRM Systems of BLNW, the NWDA and Envirolink. The ultimate aim is the development of truly embedded and reciprocal data sharing activity creating a fully embedded North West wide shared strategic data warehouse asset. It will then be genuinely possible to use the data to inform decision makers when planning business support interventions and monitor the performance, over time, of the businesses affected by these decisions. Embedding the BLNW Data asset at the heart of the regions decision making process The QlikView Dashboard System has the potential to become a scalable evidence based decision making tool. This coupled with strong local knowledge offered by specialist advisors on the ground, ensures that business support activities across the region can be delivered using real local experience combined with up to date relevant data. This ensures a move from Opinion Based Decision making, where choices are made despite significant unknowns and knowledge gaps, to true Evidence Based Decision making, where the marriage of statistical evidence and experience ensures fully informed choices. (See graphic below) Aim: Change from Anecdotal & Judgmental to Evidence-based Decision making Experience-influenced Evidence-based Opinion-based Evidence-influenced Experience Evidence / Information
  9. 9. The ability to segment data in an extremely granular fashion means the ability to deliver targeted campaign activity to specific audiences. A key benefit is that EETS Marketing will be able to react quickly in a rapidly changing economic environment and be flexible with campaign delivery. Segmentation will allowed Marketing to create detailed profiles of Key Audience Groups and deliver highly contextualised messages. This will have two effects. Firstly, it will significantly improve response rates to Marketing Campaigns and secondly, it has allowed EETS Sector Stakeholders to promote increased levels of understanding of the EETS Product and Service offering by marketing very specific products and services to a receptive audience. The EETS Adviser Team at BLNW have been using EETS QlikView Dashboard in two specific ways. Firstly to conduct gap analysis and intervention planning, in essence they are using QlikView Tools and Reports to plan the operational delivery of the Business Link Service by Advisers on the ground, identifying areas where BLNW is strong and where there are weaknesses in service delivery capability, i.e. whether there are enough advisers in a particular geography to meet the level of demand from a particular industry sector. Secondly, the QlikView Data is being used to drive Marketing Campaigns for Lead Generation Activity. This will deliver major efficiencies in Marketing Activity, especially if this conducted on an increasingly Joint basis with Stakeholder Partners like Envirolink. Several Joint Campaigns around the Issue-Areas of Energy management and Smart Energy; Recyclables and Renewables have been inaugurated recently. EETS Data will become a dynamic Engagement tool. EETS Data will be available tom be used in a consultative context to plan interventions before they are taken. EETS Data will be able to be used to track the performance of companies over time highlighting areas of improvement or decline; these changes can also be used to provide regional or sectoral benchmarks. This capability provides both the context and the measurement capability required to test Business Support Interventions over time. Another key benefit will be that issues in a specific Geography can be benchmarked and tested as an appropriate policy response model for other parts of the region. This cross region capability is a key factor in profiling companies or groups of companies when there are thematic or sectoral reviews. The EETS Data will allows for a level of analysis on this sector to be completed in a Pan Regional style and not for the specific requirements of a Local Authority. This will promote Sectoral transparency and is essential when working with regional supply chains. In Conclusion The work done by using the EETS QlikView Dashboard Business Link will ultimately increase the regions use of tangible evidence to support the creation of policy initiatives and business support interventions. Decisions from now forward will be made using evidence instead of opinion and be more representative of the business entities on the ground. A recent example of the tangible and added value benefits of such level of analysis has been, mapping the location of Energy & Environmental Technology Sector (EETS) businesses by deprivation indices revealing a clustering of Environmental Technology Businesses in prosperous/affluent areas close to main transport highways. Ged Mirfin, Chief Data Officer, BLNW, Friday 04th June
  10. 10. The ability to segment data in an extremely granular fashion means the ability to deliver targeted campaign activity to specific audiences. A key benefit is that EETS Marketing will be able to react quickly in a rapidly changing economic environment and be flexible with campaign delivery. Segmentation will allowed Marketing to create detailed profiles of Key Audience Groups and deliver highly contextualised messages. This will have two effects. Firstly, it will significantly improve response rates to Marketing Campaigns and secondly, it has allowed EETS Sector Stakeholders to promote increased levels of understanding of the EETS Product and Service offering by marketing very specific products and services to a receptive audience. The EETS Adviser Team at BLNW have been using EETS QlikView Dashboard in two specific ways. Firstly to conduct gap analysis and intervention planning, in essence they are using QlikView Tools and Reports to plan the operational delivery of the Business Link Service by Advisers on the ground, identifying areas where BLNW is strong and where there are weaknesses in service delivery capability, i.e. whether there are enough advisers in a particular geography to meet the level of demand from a particular industry sector. Secondly, the QlikView Data is being used to drive Marketing Campaigns for Lead Generation Activity. This will deliver major efficiencies in Marketing Activity, especially if this conducted on an increasingly Joint basis with Stakeholder Partners like Envirolink. Several Joint Campaigns around the Issue-Areas of Energy management and Smart Energy; Recyclables and Renewables have been inaugurated recently. EETS Data will become a dynamic Engagement tool. EETS Data will be available tom be used in a consultative context to plan interventions before they are taken. EETS Data will be able to be used to track the performance of companies over time highlighting areas of improvement or decline; these changes can also be used to provide regional or sectoral benchmarks. This capability provides both the context and the measurement capability required to test Business Support Interventions over time. Another key benefit will be that issues in a specific Geography can be benchmarked and tested as an appropriate policy response model for other parts of the region. This cross region capability is a key factor in profiling companies or groups of companies when there are thematic or sectoral reviews. The EETS Data will allows for a level of analysis on this sector to be completed in a Pan Regional style and not for the specific requirements of a Local Authority. This will promote Sectoral transparency and is essential when working with regional supply chains. In Conclusion The work done by using the EETS QlikView Dashboard Business Link will ultimately increase the regions use of tangible evidence to support the creation of policy initiatives and business support interventions. Decisions from now forward will be made using evidence instead of opinion and be more representative of the business entities on the ground. A recent example of the tangible and added value benefits of such level of analysis has been, mapping the location of Energy & Environmental Technology Sector (EETS) businesses by deprivation indices revealing a clustering of Environmental Technology Businesses in prosperous/affluent areas close to main transport highways. Ged Mirfin, Chief Data Officer, BLNW, Friday 04th June

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