Leeds - Digital & technology Clusters report

We've been working hard to build an effective data driven method for collecting and understanding the sectors and communities that make up cities. Using the open and collaborative structure of the Data City we have been privileged to work with a the suport of Leeds City Council, KPMG & AQL, plus a leading team of data scientists and economic development specialists from the following organisations: 

  • Open Data Institute Node Leeds
  • Maths Department of the University of Oxford
  • Leeds Institute for Data Analytics (LIDA) at the University of Leeds
  • Bloom Agency

The output is a data set now live at https://leeds.datacity.org/ kindly hosted by our partners at AQL and contains over 3,500 digital and technology organisations. We have produced a top line summary of our findings which you can see on slideshare here: http://www.slideshare.net/AlexCraven/leeds-clusters-report 

Alex Craven from Bloom Agency presented some early findings at Wuthering Bytes on the 29th September.

Solving our problems with data - problem 1, 'how big is the digital sector in Leeds?'

The DataCity concept was born in no small part due to the realisation that no organisation in Leeds understood how strong our digital, data & technology sector is.. this was highlighted by a trip to Leeds from the team from Tech City.. 

The result of this was a huge underestimation in the Tech City 'technation' report which reports just 479 companies http://www.techcityuk.com/technation . To be fair to Tech City, they worked with the information they could find,  we weren't able to substantiate what we knew anecdotally with data!

Since then we have begun a journey to fix that, we initially launched with a platform https://leeds.datacity.org/  with support from KPMG, Bloom Agency and initial data from Herd

Since then, the data science team at Bloom have been working on an algorithm that will replace this data with a dataset drawn from a range of open data platforms including Open Corporates, Companies House, Linkedin and others, plus information crawled from the websites of the organisations' themselves. 

From this we have built a database of organisations and are building an ever richer understanding of our sector, already we have identified over 2000 organisations that are delivering digital and technology products and services or are digital businesses in their own right. We're still refining the process but expect this to rise as we get better at identifying the public sector organisations that make a huge part of the tech/digital community in Leeds.

We're working on a new look and feel for the asset map/register and will be launching that with the improved data set in the next few weeks. 

Hopefully that will mark the first 'win' for the data city concept, the launch of an always on view of our digital sector that updates in real-time. Something we can point Tech City to next time they ask.

The DataCity team 

Your organisation - your rules!

Hi all, 

OK so if you are reading this then hopefully you are at least vaguely interested in the DataCity proposition. For the last year or so a relatively small number of us (a coalition of the willing) have been battling to make this a real 'thing' and we're pleased to say that we are now nearing an official launch. 

We've been thinking hard about what the right type of vehicle for this vision should be, we've considered almost every option possible and have for the time being at least settled upon a not for profit company limited by guarantee (see this link if you're not sure what that is ). 

The reasons we've chosen this vehicle are more or less as follows:

  • This is for the interested elements of our city, a shareholder owned organisation didn't feel right.
  • We wanted a structure that allowed new members to join all the time and could be as inclusive as possible.
  • We need a low cost, low administration overhead vehicle.
  • We need an organisation that can hold a bank account, raise invoices and make payments and hopefully one day employ staff.
  • We need a vehicle that enabled a wide range of organisations and individuals to join as possible from major corporations, SME's, Academic institutions, Local Government and other public sector bodies, Charities and individuals. A membership organisation makes the most sense to us today. 
  • We didn't want this to seem like it was 'owned' by any one person or organisation, as a membership organisation it will always be owned by its members.

Once we have set this up, we need people and organisations to join, at first this will be a fairly loose process, but we will then be looking to those members to help us define our charter, governance, membership criteria and levels (we've posted some initial thoughts here but this is all open to debate and your input).

If you are interested in getting involved, please let us know via our contact form and we'll keep you updated as we progress.

Thanks for reading this

The DataCity team