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Michael bids farewell to CRN South London

We spoke to our Information Systems Manager, Michael Garvey-Eckett, who is leaving the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network (CRN) South London after eight years. Michael talks about how the Business Intelligence (BI) team has evolved in that time, his achievements and what he will miss most about the CRN.

What have been some of your most memorable moments during your time with the CRN?

I started in the Business Intelligence team in November 2015, almost eight years ago! Some of my most memorable moments are making a fool of myself at various away days, whether poorly juggling in my presentation, creating the BI escape room, or acting as a Chief Operating Officer appointed agent of chaos in a Dragons’ Den presentation.

I'm also really proud of launching ODP in South London and every down-to-the-wire research activity confirmation in the data cut, including sitting on the phone with Croydon on a Friday evening until they update EDGE to make sure they get their £10,500 Excess Treatment Cost payments!

What will you miss most about the CRN?

CRN South London is such a supportive environment full of wonderful people. I've been given many opportunities to grow, and I will miss all those people I've known for so long who I've seen change, get married, have kids, etc. It's tough to leave.

What do you plan to do next with your career?

I'm going to be the Data and Artificial Intelligence Research Governance Lead for the Barts Health NHS Trust and Queen Mary University of London Joint Research Management Office. This opportunity is both very exciting and exceedingly terrifying.

How has BI evolved during your time with the CRN?

When I started, we were an information team rather than a BI team. We've pushed what we do to be more proactive and strategic. We have gone from reporting data for stakeholders to creating digital solutions to problems to make things efficient and providing live data that our stakeholders can access. We have managed to grow to understand many of the different areas of the CRN and research as a whole so that we can begin offering information and solutions to more people.

Why is data important in supporting high-quality research?

Good data allows us to manage studies better and identify where support might be needed. We can gain insights into bottlenecks and issues and discover examples of where something is working that we can attempt to replicate elsewhere in the future.

What is your message to everyone?

Thank you, everyone, for your patience and support, even when I'm babbling technical nonsense.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care.