Some of you busy creative and digital entrepreneurs have asked us what data are needed to complete the Brighton Fuse Survey.
Very understandably, you want to be prepared for the questions before getting started with it. We thought that instead of sending the whole questionnaire, we’d write a quick tour of the survey, letting you know what sorts of things we are asking, and also warning you about the few times when you may need to access other data beyond what’s stored in your powerful brains.
Here we go:
1. About your business: This section includes some questions about your company’s legal status, when it was founded and what it does. All fairly straightforward, we think.
2. Business Growth: This is the ‘chunkiest’ sections in terms of its data requirements – we ask you about your financials, including turnover, operating profits, numbers of employees and freelancers, and your spend in a couple of areas (mainly IT) as a proportion of costs. There are important reasons for us to ask you these questions, we explain them here. Also, if you don’t want to fill any of these questions, you are of course totally free not to, and still continue with the survey.
3. Markets and technologies: Here we ask you about what and where your markets are, what business models you use, and in what technology areas and platforms you specialise. We ask you to give us scales (i.e. what is important and what isn’t) rather than numbers or percentages, so we hope it will be easy to answer.
4. Talent and skills: Here we are looking at the mix of disciplines and skillsets in your company, as well as what you see as its drivers of competitive advantage. There are a couple of questions asking for data here (e.g. approximately how many people in your company have degrees in science subjects, and what percentage of its time does your company spend on different areas e.g. coding versus design). For the larger respondents out there, we emphasise the approximate.
5. Inspiration and innovation: This section focuses on innovation – whether your company has launched new products or services, introduced new processes etc. There are a couple of ‘data questions’ but we think they are fairly simple – whether you have applied any patents, and also how many (if any) of your employees primarily work in Research and Development (R&D).
6. About yourself: A few hopefully not too personal questions – whether you were born in Brighton and Hove or elsewhere, what you studied, why did you come to Brighton and Hove, or why did you decided to stay.
7. Entrepreneurship: And then, we ask about the origin of your current company, and why you decided to start it in Brighton.
8. The Ups and Downs of running a business: In this section, we focus on the situation of your company now. What is it about being based in Brighton and Hove that makes life easier- or harder for your company, as well as other barriers to growth or sustainability that you face. These questions are on scales – that is, we want your perceptions or opinions rather than hard data about barriers.
9. Networking: This includes questions on your interaction and collaboration with other Brighton creative and digital companies. Most of these use qualitative scales. The exception is where we ask you for your top 3 formal and informal collaborators, as well as events and meet-ups that are important for you, which we want to use to produce a network map of Brighton (and of course we’ll keep 100% confidential).
10. Universities: last one! We want to know whether you have interacted with any universities, local and elsewhere, as well as the barriers that you face to more engagement.
And that’s it. It’s 10 sections but most of them only contain a couple of questions. We have worked hard to balance our thirst for data we can use to learn more about Brighton and Hove’s creative and digital community, and influence policymakers, and our respect for your time. It’s not our fault you are so interesting!
If you still want to have a look at the full questionnaire, drop us a line firstname.lastname@example.org here and we’ll send it your way.