CEME: Using PolicyMogul to stay ahead of UK politics
With PolicyMogul, we are able to identify the topics that we are really interested in and quickly receive relevant intelligence on what's happening in the world of government and policymaking.
Dr Noorzaman Rashid, CEME Chief Executive
The Centre for Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence (CEME) is an East London-based charity founded in 2003 which champions inclusive business growth, economic regeneration and Greentech businesses. CEME provides a range of services contributing to its goals, including the provision of premium office space, training rooms, conference facilities and educational workshops.
CEME works with startups, entrepreneurs and established businesses in a range of sectors including manufacturing, engineering, technology, design and construction. Subsequently, the team at CEME is concerned with tracking political updates impacting a broad range of topics. We spoke with CEO, Dr Noorzaman Rashid to hear about CEME’s work and how they have tackled the task of monitoring politics.
CEME is anchored in their physical space and the value and opportunities it offers to its community. However, it is much more than a venue. CEME is focused on inclusive business growth, providing opportunities for skills development and research to those who may have struggled to secure the opportunity to get their business off the ground, including young people, women, and those from black and ethnic minority groups.
The range of groups which CEME supports makes the task of keeping abreast of relevant political developments and updates particularly challenging. Whilst the CEME team has tried a few approaches to political monitoring, the results had left them feeling that they weren’t seeing the full political picture.
Too many sources
Noorzaman and his team were not short of news sources but found that the task of navigating information was too much for any team, never mind one lean on manpower. The team at CEME also learned that taking a manual approach to monitoring politics meant that, as well as not always being relevant, updates were rarely timely.
Noorzaman explains that “with media sources and Google alerts, you’re sometimes aware of announcements and developments days after things have happened. We were also receiving updates via professional bodies of which we are members, but that means keeping up with a lot of different sources and receiving updates via networking also takes a lot of engagement. This fragmented approach involved a lot of time to collate and disseminate information to our internal stakeholders, and it just wasn’t sustainable.”
Lack of flexibility
CEME is concerned with various aspects of UK policymaking. As well as being broad, the range of topics is also evolving, so they needed a system that could quickly and easily pivot on demand to track new issues as they arise.
“We needed to find a system for monitoring politics that was flexible. Our interests evolve and change, and we don’t have the time or resources to be scrambling to find new sources in order to keep on top of the most relevant political developments.”
Noorzaman and his colleagues had previously worked with policy advisors in different sectors to keep ahead of news and opportunities. Over time though, this meant engaging with a lot of different parties. As well as being costly, it was also difficult to collate and disseminate information in a uniform and systematic way.
“How we were receiving information was rather piecemeal. We worked with policy advisors in different sectors, but you end up needing so many different advisors in all the areas that you’re interested in. We also relied on going to meetings to pick up information on what was happening from specialists. Overall it didn’t feel efficient or effective, which is why we turned to PolicyMogul. With PolicyMogul, we are able to identify the topics that we are really interested in and quickly receive relevant intelligence on what’s happening in the world of government and policymaking.”
The PolicyMogul experience
Following his trial of PolicyMogul, Noorzaman took part in a subscriber onboarding call to ensure that CEME’s setup on the platform was optimised.
“I appreciated that the PolicyMogul team was dedicated to ensuring that I completed the onboarding call. The pace of the call was really good and added a lot of value. To be honest, CEOs aren’t always concentrating on what they’re being trained in because there are so many other things on their mind. However, the call was very well paced and further demonstrated to me that PolicyMogul understands the needs of users like ourselves.”
We asked Noorzaman to share his top PolicyMogul features:
“The flexibility of the platform is a key factor for us. As our organisation and strategic priorities evolve, we can very easily change what we are getting from PolicyMogul. The ability to hone in on a topic area enables us to get a rapid picture of what is happening in politics around an issue. Subsequently, should our focus shift, we can alter the updates we receive with immediate effect and minimal effort.”
“The analytics functionality is really impressive and something that I’ve not seen from any other platform. It allows us to analyse what’s happening and see how factors such as political sentiment are evolving.”
“I also appreciate the security that PolicyMogul gives us. As a CEO, you have a lot of things to keep track of and many things to deal with. Having PolicyMogul gives me reassurance that I have something in place that will provide a nudge if there are developments or changes relevant to CEME, and that nothing important will be missed.”
Very soon after subscribing, Noorzaman and his colleagues working in Skills and Engagement were enjoying the reassurance and time-saving that PolicyMogul provides.
“Using PolicyMogul has given us more confidence to engage on emerging policy issues. For CEME, just as important as what is happening in politics currently is what is coming in the near future. Having such timely updates means that we are well informed when we speak with our partners about what’s on the horizon.”
Like many non-profits, CEME also values the efficiencies that PolicyMogul provides, effectively replacing a member of the team working to track and sift through information manually.
“PolicyMogul has meant that I don’t need to read lots of things that are not relevant to find updates that are. Furthermore, the time saved can be spent on analysing a policy issue and planning how we deal with it as a threat or opportunity.”