Developing the skills and tools for analysis

Making decisions in the modern world is becoming increasingly complex. Data is more readily available than ever, but the ability to exploit it - acquiring it, managing it, analysing it, interpreting the results - is vital to business, government and society.

At BCEF, we are recognised experts in data use, management and access. We regularly advise data providers, particularly in government, on how to exploit their data, and how to make it available for others to use.

We are also one of the world’s leading universities concerning the research use of confidential data. Felix Ritchie’s ‘Five Safes’ model for improved data protection is the de facto framework for research access to data, and has been adopted by organisations as diverse as the Australian, Greek and Mexican governments, Eurostat, Cancer Research UK, HMRC, the UK Data Archive, and the Office for National Statistics.

As the amount of quantitative data available expands, there is a corresponding need to understand what that data is telling us by applying it to specific cases. Much of our work is qualitative or case study-based, unlike many institutions in the economic and finance education sector. Our research is based in the real world: recent qualitative studies involve interviewing UK apprentices, farmers in developing countries, Syrian migrants in Greece and small businesses in the South-West.

We enhance the value of our research by constantly trying to improve how we convey the results to our audience. Our economists have a pluralistic approach to teaching, using ideas from psychology and sociology to develop creative and critical thinking. Our members include experts in economic thought, method and history, linking their research to teaching to help produce grounded students.

We are highly active in promoting research in accounting education, helping to bridge the gap between research, theory and practice through workshops hosted at the BCEF. We have also developed novel approaches to Continuous Professional Development (CPD), working with professional bodies and clients to develop courses for professionals.

We strive to make all our work relevant, results-focused and highly accessible.

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