We’re delighted that Sir Simon Stevens, Chief Executive Officer of the NHS, has recognised the vital role of high-quality analysis.

In this video message, he reflects on the contribution of the analytical community under COVID-19. Noting the heightened need for information, analysis and evaluation, he welcomes the development of the Midlands Decision Support Centre.

This is an important message. Analysts do not always get the recognition they deserve. At the Strategy Unit, we have committed ourselves to showing what analysts can do – and helping others to do it.

It is also a well-timed message, coming at the close of the INSIGHT 2020 Festival, where we have brought together some cutting-edge thinking in applied analysis. This has created a body of resources that we can build upon for years to come.

The response to COVID has shown the value of analysts. As a community, analysts have collaborated more – and got closer to decision makers. The value of data-driven insight has never been more apparent.

Our role in providing the Decision Support Centre – and supporting the network of Decision Support Units – gives us a route to lead and support developments in this area for years to come.