Methods Analytics – Business & Life at Electric Works
Methods Analytics moved into Electric Works back in August this year and Electric Works have been catching up with them to see how they are settling into their new office in Sheffield. Chris Parkin, the Head of Analysis took the time to answer some questions about life in Electric Works and the new and exciting things that are on the horizon for Methods Analytics.
EW: First up, tell us a bit about Method Analytics? What do you do within the company?
Chris: Methods Analytics was born from a small team of healthcare analysts that worked for the NHS East Midlands Quality Observatory from 2009 to 2013. Our role in the NHS was to benchmark the quality of care delivered by the NHS by providing intelligent information to clinicians and managers through reports, dashboards, modelling and analysis. In 2013, changes in the NHS meant that the Quality Observatory was shut down so Methods Analytics was established under the Methods Corporate umbrella to carry on similar work.
We have developed a web based intelligence tool called Stethoscope™ which is a public facing free-to-use tool containing benchmarking data for hundreds of hospitals and commissioners across England (www.stethoscope.methods.co.uk) developed using open platform technology. We also provide enhanced functionality to subscribers including a fully interactive business intelligence dashboard developed in Qlikview. Our company also provides ad-hoc analysis services to several large-scale NHS projects including the award winning GP Access project which won this years’ John Perry award for novel computing systems benefitting general practice. We’re also getting into working with other public sector bodies such as Education for England and I’m starting to work with voluntary sector charities to help them understand how Business Intelligence can benefit and promote their valuable work.
My role as Head of Analysis is to ensure the everyday operation and strategic direction of the team and to ensure there is sufficient capacity to deliver our business goals. I work between the main company office in London and Sheffield to support the analytics team and also do a bit of business development work for the company!
EW: You used to have an office based in Nottingham, what drew you to Sheffield? How did you end up at Electric Works?
Chris: The office in Nottingham suited us at the time as we only had a small team living around that area. Our director works from the main London office and was finding it hard to get to the office as it was so far from any transport links. Also, the team was getting bigger (not just from too many biscuits!) and we needed more space.
I spent around 3 months looking at office space and checked out locations including the Boots Medi-city site, Nottingham Lace market, Derby and Chesterfield. But nothing had the right ‘feel’ I wanted for the team. The Electric Works provided a combination of fantastic location, a modern vibrant office community and had a bit of fun about it that other offices do not have (and of course a Helter Skelter!). I got the move signed off and we moved in on the 1st September 2014.
EW: How are you settling in to your new office here in Sheffield?
Chris: Very well indeed! We have not looked back. The facilities are great, from being able to break out for some quiet working time in the club to the meeting rooms which are modern and have all the technology we need. Everyone is enjoying working here and I believe we’ve got the perfect balance of hard working and fun just right and Electric Works has been perfect for that. And the city is just great with plenty of places to explore for lunch and for the team to enjoy a good social side out of office hours. The location near the university means there is a really good energy all year round. And of course the reception team are great and always very helpful. (Ed. and we didn’t even bribe him, honest!)
EW: And what’s coming up for Method Analytics, we know you’ve been recruiting already since you moved.
Chris: Lots of good things! Since moving we have recruited 2 x data administrators, an analyst and a senior analyst into the team. Our first graduate from Sheffield Hallam University started in December and we are pleased to be able to offer employment to people in Sheffield. I am currently working with both universities on an placement for next Summer and have been surprised at the amount of interest we’ve had so far; no doubt due to a combination of an interesting job role as well as a great office environment to work in. I hope to continue to develop fantastic information products with the team and start to work more outside of healthcare data alone (although we’re very good at it!). We have our first User Group for Stethoscope coming up so I’m looking forward to developing our core product with our customers and to a successful 2014.