Jim Plunkett-Cole

Principal Analyst

Jim Plunkett-Cole, the founder of Smart Growth Analytics, is a professional economist and analyst, and one of the most experienced and innovative local area economic development practitioners in the UK.

Jim has more than 15 years' experience working to the highest levels for public and private sector clients across the UK, on analytical projects which cover each and every aspect of local area economic activity and competitiveness. As well as bespoke projects, he currently acts as strategic economic advisor to a range of organisations, including Principal Authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships.

Jim draws on a wide range of source data and information, and employs the widest possible range of analytical tool and techniques, to develop a robust intelligence / evidence base. These techniques include primary research business survey and analysis and the development of bespoke sector-based economic models and analytical frameworks (e.g. to enable scenario development and forecasting).

Prior to founding Smart Growth Analytics, Jim was Principal Analyst at GWE Business West, a large sub-regional economic development and business support organisation. Before his time at GWE, Jim was Senior Research Consultant with Prism Research in Shropshire, one of the UK's first and most successful economic development and business research companies.

Jim loves his work and thrives on the challenges it brings with it. In his own words, "The client often wants you to study a certain aspect of their business or local economy because they have an inkling about something, but don't have the evidence. That's where we come in, and very often, the evidence shows they were right!".

Jim also suggests that, if you follow the good advice of his first ever 'mentor' in economic development research and analysis, then you can't really go far wrong. "Establish the evidence to identify the problem or issue... and then establish the evidence for what can be done about it!."

Jim has a BA (Hons) in Economics.