Investor Developers from emda and it's sub-regional partners meet with international investors and large UK businesses. The written reports from these meetings are a valuable source of intelligence regarding companies’ plans and barriers to growth as well as details of the key issues affecting businesses in the region. The regional development agency commissioned Infonomics to extract the key issues and retrieve context and details for an in-depth analysis.
Infonomics combined a range of approaches to meet this requirement including:
- automated scripts for extracting key issues and other structured data
- comparison of key issues with tables, charts and statistical tests
- annotation of key words and concepts in the visit report narrative
- retrieval of detail and context – relevant quotes from the narrative
Our proposed method was:
- fast: we developed scripts and automated processes that extracted key issues and annotated the narrative far quicker than a purely manual approach;
- thorough: we combined the automated annotation with manual annotation to ensure that all relevant details were extracted, including issues that weren't categorised during the visit;
- rigorous: we applied econometric techniques to ensure that the results we presented were statistically valid giving the agency confidence in our recommendations
- informed: we deployed cutting-edge technology with a solid understanding of the economics of inward investment and regional policy development. We did not simply provide a list of issues. Our analysis built the business case for appropriate intervention and provided relevant recommendations supported by an understanding of the issues;
- sustainable: because the software we used is freely available (and typically open source), the method could be repeated internally by emda in subsequent years.
analysis information-extraction investor-development inward-investment research