Business and Local Government Data Research

Our team

"As a 'Data Evangelist' I combine the professional services aspects of my role with my academic research colleagues to help drive fundamental and applied research..."

Areas of specialism

  • Project management
  • Optimisation of business operations
  • Scrum Master

Biography

Nigel is a perceptive and commercially astute project manager with over 20 years’ experience leading and implementing academic research, technical and change transformation projects to align to a specific target operating model.

Passionate about business process improvement, process mapping, root cause analysis and planning and implementation, Nigel enables the successful delivery of the Centre, liaising with staff at both a strategic and operational level.

How you bring data to life

As the project manager, I am a “Servant Leader” and “Systems Thinker” using a combination of these characteristics to conceptualise through the lens of our stakeholders, how data can be transformed into business insight to make better informed decisions and polices across the public, private and charity sectors.

What you bring to the Centre

As a “Data Evangelist” I combine the professional services aspects of my role with my academic research colleagues to help drive fundamental and applied research for the advancement of our research streams, stakeholders, contribution to the wider academic community and the University of Essex.

"I do forecasting/risk assessment and cause and effect analysis."

Areas of specialism

  • data science
  • causal inference with observational data
  • political institutions

Biography

Dr Broniecki is a data scientist and political scientist. His research spans the fields of legislative politics and institutions, with a focus on the European Union. 

Dr Broniecki’s interests include political negotiations such as the infamous early agreement system in the European Union and its consequences for representation and political power. He applies machine learning, deep learning and methods for causal inference with observational data. 

With vast experience, Dr Broniecki also co-developed statistical software using machine learning techniques to better estimate subnational public opinion. 

He continues to participate in efforts that apply quantitative text analysis to leverage data from open-ended survey questions collected by development organisations, in a project on forecasting conflict escalation from big data, and an analysis of peace agreement texts to identify common strategies of mediators, their success, and determinants of the negotiation agenda. 

How you bring data to life

I use data to (1) answer cause and effect questions such as whether a policy intervention has had the intended effect or not and (2) to predict informative quantities such as the risk of becoming homeless.

What you bring to the Centre

I do forecasting/risk assessment and cause and effect analysis.

"I use a combination of research methods to explore diverse research questions..."

Areas of specialism

  • Statistics and causal inference using observational data
  • Machine learning prediction
  • Political science; political violence, nonviolent resistance and United Nations peacekeeping

Biography

Dr Luke Abbs is a political scientist and data scientist.  He deploys applied analytics to inform key policy questions, turning data into knowledge and knowledge into impact. His expertise is in prediction, using statistical methods and supervised machine learning techniques. Luke’s role is two-fold: to inform policy questions from local government and charities and to aid the prediction of political conflict within the academic field of political science.

Luke’s current academic research agenda is focused on developing two important bodies of conflict research (a sub-field of Political Science). The first focuses on analysing armed violence and the effectiveness of UN peacekeeping at the subnational-level. This currently consists of the analysis of violence and UN peacekeeping across three separate case-studies: Darfur, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The second explores the emergence and dynamics of nonviolent resistance campaigns and the impact that mass nonviolent resistance has on ongoing civil war and peace processes.

His more general research interests include: civil war, peace processes, non-state armed actors, nonviolent resistance, UN peacekeeping and mixed methods (i.e. spatial analysis, and combining qualitative, statistical and/or machine learning approaches).

How you bring data to life

I collaborate with the public sector to explore why health outcomes have deteriorated and use predictive analytics armed conflict using the UN’s peacekeeping data.

What you bring to the Centre

I use a combination of research methods to explore diverse research questions, including casual analysis using statistics, predictive analytics using machine learning and qualitative methods such as process tracing. I also have expertise in analysing geographical data and mapping spatial data using GIS software.

"With my research and public engagement activities, organisations benefit from modern cutting-edge techniques to enhance revenue."

Areas of specialism

  • Artificial Intelligence (Machine Learning, Deep Learning and Natural Language Processing)
  • Sequence and Time-Series Data Modelling
  • Text Data Analysis

Biography

Dr Farhana Ferdousi Liza is a computer scientist specialising in improving machine learning and deep learning methods for sequence data (e.g. language modelling). Her works have published in AAAI, EMNLP and ACL proceedings.

Dr Ferdousi Liza performs fundamental and applied research to reduce the knowledge gap birding both stakeholder engagement and academia.

How you bring data to life

I combine fundamental and applied research to solve real world challenges including working with the council to create a medium term demand view of council services to facilitate a smoother transition to normality due to COVID-19 pandemic.

What you bring to the Centre

I use computer science and artificial intelligence expertise to help organisations to improve their systems. With my research and public engagement activities, organisations benefit from modern cutting-edge techniques (e.g. AI-based recommender system) to enhance revenue. With guideline and technical help, these organisations can contribute better to national economic growth.

"I bring a knowledge of stakeholder’s needs, challenges and opportunities as well as the ability to bring together decision maker to influence policy and inform practice nationally."

Areas of specialism

  • Public sector
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Translating research into societal impact for public, not-for-profit and private sectors

Biography

Laura leads stakeholder engagement and publicity for the Centre. She specialises in public sector and has experience working in the NHS at a commissioning level.

Using a range of communication platforms and facilitating challenge labs, Laura enables organisations across the UK to benefit from academic expertise through fundamental and applied research.

How you bring data to life

I act as an enabler, helping organisations to benefit from the effective use of analytics and research, empowering them to translate the information into meaningful change for society.

What you bring to the Centre

I bring a knowledge of stakeholder’s needs, challenges and opportunities as well as the ability to bring together decision maker to influence policy and inform practice nationally.

Get in touch
Business and Local Government Data Research Centre Knowledge Gateway University of Essex
Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, CO4 3SQ