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Member Spotlight: Strategic Analyst, Aaron Cheung, Thames Valley’s Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner

Member Spotlight  – Aaron Cheung

Strategic Analyst for Thames Valley’s Office for Police and Crime Commissioner

Tell us about your role and how you use data?


Hi! My name is Aaron and I work within Thames Valley’s Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner as its strategic analyst. A core aspect of my role is to inform our local council partners on their regional crime landscape, highlighting the most vulnerable cohorts within their communities as well as trends in risk.


To influence decision-making and ensure the design of strategies are precise to target pressing concerns, I spend the majority of my time combing through data across years. More often than not, data in its infancy stage can be messy. Coupled with trying to tie in various sources into one singular project, things can get complicated quickly. However, as a colleague once described, there is nothing more rewarding for an analyst when you take the time to work through it and the data suddenly starts to speak to you.


What is the real value of working with data?

To me, data analysis is not about crunching numbers and micro analysing everything. That does happen, but the quintessential purpose is story telling. It is important to tell my audience the what, where, who and when of a crime, but excellent analysis must always consider the ‘so what?’. It is about taking those numerical values on your spreadsheet and connecting them back to the real world. Knowing that your data is a snapshot of what is occurring, how will factors, such as technology use among young people, affect certain groups if not addressed?


What is motivating you to be involved with the Bucks Data Exchange?

It is important for the OPCC to be part of a network such as the Bucks Data Exchange for various reasons. Firstly, it enables us to better understand the communities we serve through our interaction and discussions with key organisations that know its people best on a local level.

Additionally, this platform helps us promote some of the great opportunities currently running within the Office for the Voluntary and Community Sector, such as the Community Fund. This is an opportunity to collaborate with community and voluntary groups to tackle crime across Thames Valley.

We want to support the sector understand how data can be used within funding applications to demonstrate social need and impact and ultimately lead to successful funding bids so that meaningful activities and initiatives can receive the necessary funding to keep going.


How do you see yourself supporting the activity of the Bucks Data Exchange over the coming months?

I am looking forward to our continual collaboration with Bucks Data Exchange with some exciting projects planned for the coming months. One of the key areas I feel the OPCC can lend its support on is by attending future workshops to understand how local organisations are recording their data and how they may implement methods and techniques to maximise those insights. Whether used to evidence demand for external funding or for internal performance review, data analysis is integral for any organisation.

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