Funded by


Innovate By Analysing Your Business Data


From 5th November 2021
am (time tbc)


Online Via Zoom

About this workshop

This is a free online workshop programme that will help you and your business to become more innovative, productive and effective. The workshops will give you new knowledge and insight on the role that different types of data can play in your organisation. Our workshops are practically focused so that you can quickly use new tools and techniques and apply across your business, supporting your marketing and communications, your brand positioning and audience engagement, through to making decisions about future investments.

The workshops are targeted at SMEs in the North East who want to take forward their initial steps or continue their journey in using business data. The programme offers 12 hours of fully-funded contact time with our e-business and data experts. It comprises four core workshop sessions (further details below) which aim to broaden thinking, increase confidence and empower you to move your business plans forward by using data. Participants are required to attend the whole programme.

These workshops are part of a larger programme that supports North East businesses to grow and develop through the support of experts across the five North East universities.

You could be eligible to take part if you have a small to medium sized business, and are a registered as a sole trader, registered freelancer, Social Enterprise or Community Interest Company within the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) area: Newcastle, Gateshead, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Northumberland, and Sunderland.


Registration Information:

To register for the ‘Innovate By Analysing Your Business Data’ programme, please click here.

To find out more, or register for future sessions, please email Stephanie Roberts, Project Administrator, at in the first instance.



Professor Jonathan Sapsed

Principal Investigator for Creative Fuse North East and Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Mark Adamson

Project Director for Creative Fuse North East

Dr Rebecca Casey

Lecturer in Information Systems Management

Nick Howey

Lecturer in Information Management

Dr Wasim Ahmed

Lecturer in Digital Business

Dr Marc Smith

Sociologist and Director of the Social Media Research Foundation

The Workshops

Session 1 – Introduction and Making Sense of Business Data

Date: Friday 5th November
Time: am (exact time TBC)
Duration: 1 hour

Introduction led by:

  • Professor Jonathan Sapsed, Principal Investigator for Creative Fuse North East and Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Dr Rebecca Casey, Lecturer in Information Systems Management
  • Mark Adamson, Project Director for Creative Fuse North East

An introduction to the Creative Fuse North East project and the aims and objectives and expected outcomes for the workshops. Participants will be invited to introduce themselves and their business and an outline of the other workshop sessions will be provided. We will also aim to collect feedback from participating businesses about any potential data they may be able to share e.g. from spreadsheets, tables of data, twitter handles, keywords, hashtags etc, that might be used or referenced in the practical workshop sessions later.

Session 2 – Making Sense Of Business Data

Date: Wednesday 10th November
Time: pm (exact time TBC)
Duration: 2 hours

Making Sense of Business Data led by:

  • Nick Howey, Lecturer in Information Management

Microsoft Excel is a straightforward and affordable way to store, analyse and visualise data. This practical workshop will introduce you to useful functions and features which will help you turn your business data into helpful graphics, tables and charts. Detailed knowledge of Excel is not required – however, participants will undertake some practical analysis of data (this will be provided) so access to MS Excel is required/recommended.

Key elements of the workshop include:

  • Constructing basic tables and graphs
  • Constructing pivot tables
  • Understanding different types of graphs and their connection to data types

Key outcomes:

  • Discover and understand insights into data and how this may be applied for a variety of organisational and business applications.
  • Understand and demonstrate the role of visualisation as an aid to decision making.
  • Make effective use of pivot tables.

Session 3 – Using Social Media Data for Impactful Communications

Date: Thursday 18th November
Time: 2-6pm
Duration: 4 hours

This session is led by:

  • Dr Wasim Ahmed, Lecturer in Digital Business
  • Dr Marc Smith, Sociologist and Director of the Social Media Research Foundation

The need for organisations to gain insights into social media has grown significantly with the popularity of social networking websites including Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. As people increasingly participate in online communities for social, commercial, and civic interaction, masses of data are being generated which can be utilised for commercial insights, and new methods are needed to study these phenomena. This session focuses on using tools to give data-driven marketers access to powerful social media analysis features including influencer identification, brand evaluation, social listening, content analysis, ideation, lead harvesting, competitor social and campaign analysis, automation, white-labeling, and more. The session will specifically look at accessible tools (such as Microsoft Power BI and NodeXL Proto) that support analysis and visualisation.

Key elements of the workshop include:

  • Installing and using relevant tools and platforms
  • Data preparation and cleaning methods
  • Data about relationships, entities, and groups
  • Content analysis, network structures and data visualisation to support decision making

Key Outcomes:

  • Appreciate the increasing use of social media data across commercial organisations
  • Understand key tools for influencer identification, brand evaluation, and social listening
  • Learn theories and concepts of networks and social networks
  • Learn to prepare your data for analysis and identify key people and groups on social networks

Session 4 – Realising value: making the case for investment in a business data

Date: Thursday 25th November
Time: am (exact time TBC)
Duration: 2 hours

This session is led by:

  • Dr Rebecca Casey, Lecturer in Information Systems Management

Information Technology (IT) can be a critical enabler of competitive advantage in a business. These are business issues, which must be owned by business leaders. Unfortunately, many individuals and organisations can struggle to realise the strategic potential of IT. Leaders of IT-enabled change and transformation need a broader range of skills than expertise with mobile and social technologies.

The goal of the workshop is to provide insights into the issues and opportunities of delivering value from IT as well as to help develop expertise in using a range of practical tools to enable individuals to make a difference to their business.

Key elements of the workshop include:

  • The challenges and opportunities associated with delivering value from IT.
  • A benefits framework for planning projects.
  • Harvesting the benefits from investments in IT-enabled change.
  • Building dynamic capabilities.

Key Outcomes:

  • Relate a benefits-driven framework to realising the strategic potential of Information Technology in order to deliver value.
  • Equip participants with the skills and ability to play an effective role in enabling their organisations to succeed in realising the strategic potential of IT.

Session 5 – Unpacking the Value of Business Data

Date/Time: Friday 3rd December
Time: 2-5pm
Duration: 3 hours

This final session, with Jonathan, Rebecca, Wasim and Mark, allows us to reflect on the previous sessions, evaluate the outcomes of the programme and how the learning and knowledge can be applied. The focus in this session is to share how what you have learned can lead to useful outcomes for your business and practice. We will also share information about what support is available elsewhere through Creative Fuse North East and other programmes in the region. This session also gives us a chance to ask you about the experience and support – how did it go?