29 April 2011

Is this non-job #4 ? "Head of Insight"

What on earth does a "Head of Insight" do.

According to the Job Description he does the following ( my comments in red ) :-
  • Lead and further develop the strategic Insight Team to create a ‘hub and spoke’ model to deliver insight for the Council and its partners.( why not just employ management with some insight ? and look at the history of services which have been supplied for many years without needing a Head of Insight )
  • Lead a programme of research and analysis to enable effective commissioning of services which deliver the outcomes Barnet residents expect. ( the Council has no intention of supplying expected services; it is only interested in outsourcing everything and hasn't fully considered the cost implications or the lack of flexibility that leads to - just look at the extra costs for items outside of the contract in PFI deals - which are themselves going out of fashion )
  • Act as the professional lead for the Council and partners as appropriate for research, intelligence and analysis. ( always provided that you come up with the correct answer )
and for this he gets about £50,000 p.a.

I think that if this post was simply scrapped the work of Barnet Council would continue without any noticeable effect upon service. If the entire EasyCouncil / OneBarnet / FutureShape teams were sent home I think that services would automatically improve as the focus of management would be on day to day tasks.

The incumbent of this post of "Head of Insight" is Sam Markey. This is how he describes himself on Twitter
"I'm an unashamed idealist, a walking wikipedia and an urgently optimistic man of faith." 
Now that seems a bit arrogant to me and ridiculous. Wikipedia in English contains 3,624,000 articles - older readers will remember Marvo the Memory Man and he didn't work at Barnet Council where people forget to arrange really important contracts ( MetPro anyone ? )

Take a look at his blog.

About Me
I have a masters degree in American Foreign Policy, a wall full of DVDS, an eye for a photo, a beautiful wife, a drummer's soul and a heart for God. I'm an academic, an unashamed idealist, an ambitious leader and a faithful follower. I'm recklessly hopeful, infectiously passionate and undeterably optimistic. I'm a work in progress, a (mostly) quiet revolutionary, an interdependent soul. I'm a fan of films, photography and fiction, a wordsmith (can you tell?), a drummer, a husband, a son, a brother. I'm still finding my way, but I trust that He will be there at every step.

You can add your own comment at the end of this blog. I am saying nothing.

Sadly, Insight doesn't stop at just one person. 6 people report in to Mr Markey as follows :-

Consultation and Insight Officer - £35-40k
GIS Development Manager - £40-45k
Geographic Data Analyst - £30-35k
Gazetteer Officer - £25-30k
Business Intelligence Officer (x2 - 1.6FTE) - £25-30k

I will come on to some of these posts in the next blog.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

Looks like the Head of Insight might have been on as the first vote in the poll is in favour of keeping his post rather than Barnet Museum !!!


  1. oh Mr Mustard, you are a caution. What a laugh. How many more of these non jobs are being funded at the expense of redundancies elsewhere, I wonder?

  2. Thank you Mrs Angry for the reminder that I meant to say that Barnet Museum only costs £38,000 a year to run and that is less than the Head of Insight's salary so there is a new poll to vote on. Time for someone to brush up their CV I think.

  3. It is difficult to understand Mr Markey's role to be honest. I agree with your comments on his job; the person who holds the job is irrelevant in my view.

    He has recently been tweeting that he was involved in the production of the new Joint Strategic Needs Assessment. This is a vital document, which sets the borough's priorities for health and social care over the coming years, developed & agreed with the PCT. As far as I can tell he has no knowledge of health or social care policy, nationally or locally. If you do not know what the issues are, in what is a complicated and vital area, how can you possibly provide insight or analysis?

  4. I agree with you Jaybird. I don't want to point the finger at individuals but when they hold themselves up to ridicule it is hard to resist sometimes and they have got their hand in my change pocket after all.

    I agree with you completely about the JSNA. Hopefully he wasn't the lead on it.

    Here is another of his tweets
    "Great! Private profit should not come before common good."
    He's definitely working in the wrong place.

    Mr Mustard

  5. That's fairly ad hominem, Mr Mustard. I'm a business analyst and my job description says jack about the type of work I do day-to-day. Could you delve deeper into what Head of Insight actually does? That would give me more to go with, since the JD is fairly impenetrable.

    And I don't intend this meanly but attacking the person who does the job comes across as cheap and devalues your post.

  6. This post has now been deleted in the latest management reshuffle. That doesn't mean that any necessary statistical work isn't being done but does rather imply that my description of non-job wasn't entirely wrong. Sam Markey's moving on to Central Government (I have never met the bloke and don't think my life is any the poorer for it) does rather remind me of a sign I once saw on an office door

    "Everybody brings joy to this room, some when they arrive, and others when they leave".

    Bon voyage Sam and please don't produce any more graphs which are not based on accurate data.


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