A SWOT analysis

Business Durham sponsored one of the work streams at Dynamo 16.  It was held in three sessions.  I led on the first one with help from Dom at Geek Talent and I helped Dom with the next two.  It’s confusing but they were from the same company but two different Doms.  Sessions two and three were repeats.  I hope you are still with me.

The second two sessions were focussed on the data market in the north east.  We see this as a huge opportunity for business growth across the region.  We have a lot going for us when we combine all of the public and private sector data we have along with the catapult initiatives and the National Institute for Smart Data and Innovation.  I hope I got that right.

But the data market is a broad church and this formed the thrust of Dom’s sessions.  There are many ways that we can look at it and many initiatives already underway.  Dom split us up into smaller groups and we did a good old SWOT analysis on a specific area of interest.  Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in case you have forgotten.

I ended up on the smart cities table both as a facilitator and because I have a vested interest in smart counties as well as more urban areas.  While the group chatted away I grabbed a marker pen and some post-it notes and scribbled awSWOT1ay ideas that popped out.  It was hard as I hardly every write with a pen these days.  You can see the results of our efforts in the picture.  Yes, I know it’s upside down.  It was amazing how quickly we were able to fill the page.

Now I’m an optimistic person and so I’ll leave the weaknesses and threats to others.  We have a lot of strengths around the types of organisations we have
(Dynamo of course, Universities, Central Government in DWP and HMRC, North East Combined Authority) the type of regions we are (2.5 million people though small in area) and the kinds of business we have (the only region with a positive balance of trade, a history of innovation, good business engagement and existing data processing skills).

Seeing it set out in front of us brought it all home.  We have a good story to tell.  Dom is going to put all of the information from the other groups together and share it around.  In the meantime, I am going back to my own business with renewed vigour regarding our own data initiatives.

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