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September 4, 2013

Charity tackles unemployment using analytics

Swish analytics technology hoped to help those at risk of unemployment before they even leave school.

By Jason Stamper

Medway Youth Trust, a registered charity based just outside London, says it is tackling youth unemployment and the risk of becoming unemployed with the help of Tableau Software’s analytics technology.

Medway Youth Trust, which offers advice, help and guidance to young people in the Medway area, has deployed Tableau dashboards to analyse structured and unstructured data from a variety of sources so it can identify those most at risk of becoming unemployed before they even leave compulsory education.

"A key part of what we do is to identify those who are most at risk, so that resources can be allocated accordingly," said Gary Seaman, head of business analytics at Medway Youth Trust. "Before Tableau, we used bar graphs and charts in Excel spreadsheets to help us achieve this. However, the problem was that much of the data our advisers relied upon was unstructured historical information. As it was in free text form it was difficult to reconcile with the Excel format."

"Using Tableau to draw data from both structured and unstructured sources has allowed our advisers to completely visualise the progress of young people," Seaman said. "As a result, our advisers are able to visually map the progress of specific cases and our management team is able to better monitor performance."

By using Tableau dashboards, Medway Youth Trust has been able to connect information from a number of different data sources including management systems in schools and colleges. This is used to map the path of young people from the age of 12 through to those in their late teens or early twenties.

Advisers can use this data to assess the risk each young person faces of becoming unemployed, which means that interventions are more timely and restricted financial resources are more targeted, meaning that as a local authority contractor it better understands who needs help, when they need it and where those most in need are located.

James Eiloart, VP EMEA at Tableau Software, said he was delighted that Tableau software could be put to use to potentially help advisers to spend time where it’s needed, "giving those most at risk a chance of a brighter future."

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