Q&A with our Analysts
#WednesdayswithMDBInsight – Our Wednesdays with MDB Insight blog posts feature the thinkers and doers on our team sharing ideas and talking about what’s important to us as professionals. We have very diverse backgrounds and a range of interests to share with you. Today we’re sharing thoughts and ideas from one of our Research Analysts, Jose Rodriguez. The work of our valued analyst team members isn’t often highlighted but their contributions go a long way in ensuring our clients’ project successes.
When did you join the MDB Insight team? And what surprised you the most about your first month with the firm?
JOSE: I joined the firm in October of 2018, and although I knew the kind of work the company was doing, I was surprised by the variety of economic development and market research work MDB Insight undertakes. I was also pleasantly surprised by the professionalism each member of the team puts into providing communities with the best strategies to leverage growth.
What’s the coolest task you’ve worked on in the last few months as a Research Analyst?
JOSE: Since I had previous experience with the firm’s labour market analysis platform (Vicinity Jobs ) I have become a go-to person for labour market information. While supporting Trudy Parsons and our Workforce Development team with labour market analysis, I have been involved in different and interesting tasks including the delivery of virtual training sessions. That was pretty cool.
What are you reading right now that you would recommend?
JOSE: I would recommend The Warhol Economy: How Fashion, Art and Music Drive New York City by Elizabeth Currid-Halkett. It presents an interesting portrait of New York’s rich cultural economy, and how creative industries have become an important element for economic growth in NYC.
If you could work on a project in any community in Canada, which one would it be and why?
JOSE: I would love to be involved in economic development projects in the Northwest Territories. Having grown up in tropical region, I find the nature and eco-tourism potential of Canada’s far north fascinating.
Are there any particular trends you’re watching or developments in the field that you’re following closely?
JOSE: Climate change poses important challenges for the economic development of many communities around the globe — the way we perceive and address economic and social issues. I think we’ll see drastic changes in the way communities adapt to new climate realities. For example, I’m interested in the kind of crops we can produce now versus the kind of crops we will be able to produce in the future.
What’s the most helpful or complimentary feedback you’ve received from one of our clients recently?
JOSE: I have been involved in the design aspects of several recent projects and been complimented for the effectiveness and visual appeal of my work. I appreciate the positive feedback and I’m enjoying the chance to explore my creative side.
What do you think are the key issues facing economic development as a profession over the next few years?
JOSE: I think economic development is becoming more widely relevant as communities try to stand out and attract and retain businesses and talent. I think as practitioners, it is important to understand the economic, social and even environmental trends in communities so that we can generate the impact we want to see for those communities as a result of our work.
Describe what the role of a Research Analyst looks like ten years from now – what’s different?
JOSE: I think the way we interact with data will change as technology advances. This will particularly impact the quantitative side of our work. As a researcher, I’m always aware of the importance of understanding the data and the story it tells.
To learn more about Jose and the other members of our team, go to https://mdbinsight.com/team-bios/