DMU graduate's new role helping create regional 'data powerhouse'

Creating data-driven insights about the East Midlands economy is the task for one De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) graduate.

Harsh Shah is now a Knowledge Transfer Associate, working with East Midlands Chamber to help create a regional business intelligence unit that aims to highlight business strengths and ultimately, win more investment for the region.


He is the postgraduate associate as part of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP), which links universities with businesses on innovative projects that have the potential to boost growth.

Harsh, who graduate from DMU with a Master’s in business intelligence and data mining, said: “The KTP provides a unique opportunity to work as a professional in the business environment and at the same time working as a researcher with the university.

“This element of working in both areas is what motivated me to apply for the role. The real potential lies in the ownership that the project facilitates. A delivery-informed, data-driven insights across the East Midlands through a ‘continuous improvement, continuous learning’ approach, improving internal processes through standardisation of data, and developing automated approaches and accurate insights, will be key to a successful outcome of the role for me.”

Prior to joining DMU, Harsh worked for Vodafone Shared Services in India, where he was the company’s employee of the year 2018-19 for automating processes to help multiple teams.

The intelligence unit that will be developed in his new role will provide insights about the East Midlands to the Midlands Engine Research Observatory, with the aim of establishing a unified Midlands-wide voice to compete alongside other regions when engaging with Government and investors.

Overseeing his role at East Midlands Chamber is director of policy and external affairs Chris Hobson. He said: “The pandemic has presented unprecedented economic challenges that have affected each town, city and sector differently. To overcome these challenges, businesses are expected to rethink strategies via innovation, effective management and investments.

"The unique insights that Harsh will create can give us the evidence base we need to help these organisations work towards their objectives, while also informing policymakers whose decisions impact on our region’s economic prospects.”

Dr Rhianna Briars, senior knowledge exchange officer at DMU, added: “The KTP project that Harsh is working on with the Chamber has exciting prospects for the East Midlands as a region and its business community. Deepening the insights and regional data-led intelligence will improve decision-making for local businesses and strengthen the links to policy makers.

"We expect this to make our region more competitive and attract higher levels of investment, which will improve our recovery from the pandemic and tackle the underlying socio-economic issues that affect individual lives.

“I am really pleased to see this project get funded and now start with Harsh on board – I’m anticipating a bright future for the whole East Midlands as a result.”

Posted on Friday 21 May 2021

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