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Blog: Life as a Data and Insight Manager

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Posted 15th August 2022

Emma, our Data and Insight Manager, gives a taste of the sort of things you can expect to be involved with if you are thinking of applying for the role of Data and Insight Manager.

One of the best things about my role is how fast paced it is, the challenge that each day brings and the variety – no two days are ever the same.
As a data and insight team, our aim is to be known nationally and locally for our outstanding approach to providing high quality and timely data and insight that drives, develops and underpins our strategy.

I am part of the Business Support team under the guidance of Nigel, our Chief Executive. It provides a great opportunity to learn from others, work together and be part of a supportive team.

Within our work we are responsible for managing performance and learning, internal evaluations, learning and impact reports, supporting national groups, supporting our partners and working with external evaluation partners on research to then share with the network.

A really exciting piece of work over the last three years has been developing our Learning and Performance system. Having built the system, it has then been a process of understanding how to best use it to tell the story of our impact and share it with the Board, Senior Management and the wider team to help them shape their work and the future of the organisation.

We invested in a bespoke Learning Bank as part of developing our Learning and Performance framework. It is an online system where the team share reflections and learning across all aspects of what we do. It’s something other organisations have adopted, and so part of my role is to support them use it most effectively. We also partner with a few organisations as Data Partners and create bespoke reports for them. One of those partners is Sheffield United Community Foundation, who we recorded a podcast episode with to talk all about it.

We produce a number of insight, impact, research and evaluation reports which are exciting because they help us to understand what people in our communities need, how the work is going and the impact that we have had through different pieces of work. Most recently, that has included the Make Space For Us insight report. It’s the first piece of its kind looking to understand motivations and barriers around teenage girls use of parks and green spaces. It’s really rewarding to work on something that has the potential to change the way people work for the benefit of communities.

Working with the whole team to help them understand the importance of evaluation, learning and impact gives you a brilliant overview of all the work that takes place across the organisation. About 18 months ago we were able to expand the data and insight team with a Data and Insight Officer, and it has helped us offer more to the team and our partners.

Three reasons I like working at YSF:
– Leading on the Learning and Performance system, and the challenge and opportunity that provides. Seeing the change that it has made within the organisation over the last three years and the potential it has to continue growing.
– Working with a great team – both the data and insight team and wider team. From day-to-day work within the data and insight team to the fun of the away days. Having a great supportive team is something that runs all the way through YSF.
– Learning and developing my own skills, through the variety of the role, learning how to use new pieces of software, learning from research and evaluation, and from being able to be part of other national groups.

Full details of the role on our website.

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