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Richard Schuster (MJ 2011), who spent four months with the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) this summer, was recently offered a fixed-term position.
As the sister company of The Economist magazine, a member of the Economist Group, the EIU is a business intelligence organisation with expertise in country analysis, economic forecasting and business research.
Richard works for it business-to-business services which capitalise on its global access to information. and its extensive analytical and forecasting capabilities.
It delivers information, analytics and forecasts on international affairs and business on a range of products and customised research programmes.
The Hungarian journalist wrote an account of his time there:
“So far I have spent four months at the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), which is a leading source of research and business intelligence in the world.
“The EIU is a unique organisation where I have been able to make use of the MJ course and my experience as a journalist in brand new ways.
“I have been working as an assistant analyst on the “Custom Research” team in Hong Kong, which conducts research projects customised to clients’ needs. The team produces various studies, reports and innovative information programmes that explore issues and answer questions that the clients — international organisations, governments, NGOs and business entities — are faced with.
“I have been involved in research design, data collection and visualisation, copy editing, web-video production and information packaging, while working on longer-term projects on topics ranging from demographic trends in China to breast cancer in Australia.
“Here are some of the projects I had the opportunity to work on:
Innovative information package for a multilateral organisation
“The EIU conducted research focusing on the environment for infrastructure investments in a number of Asia-Pacific countries. To supplement the main report, the team produced an innovative application with which the detailed findings of the study can be discovered through an interactive surface. Using an MS Excel file as a platform, readers can compare countries, analyse and visualise the related data, and, best of all, focus only on countries and drill down to questions in which they are interested without having to read through the entire report.
“My job was to help produce a video including a user guide for this interactive application and an introduction to the research. In addition to my background in video production, the skills and tools from Diane Stormont’s Advanced Online Journalism course proved to be more than useful.
Data projects: collect, input and visualise
“For a major international not-for-profit organisation, the EIU produced a study on the effects that the rapid economic transformation of China will have on its higher education and employment. For this project, too, the EIU presented the findings in an innovative form by producing a digital application with an interactive heat map of China’s demographics, education and employment.
“My job was to assist in the design and programming of the application, to gather large amounts of data using The Economist’s internal information hub and to input additional data. Irene Jay Liu’s Computer Assisted Reporting course has been invaluably useful in these projects.
“I participated in development of a proposal for a data model to assess and compare disease risk in countries around the world.
“One of my responsibilities was to look for available data sources and other potential sources of information in more than 30 countries. I had the opportunity to assist in the initial research design, where I could make good use of the course on research concepts and methods by Miklos Sukosd and King-wa Fu.
“Working at the EIU has been a crash course on China, a plunge into regional and global issues, and an opportunity to gain experience at a global organisation that is well known and respected around the world for its editorial quality.
“Most importantly, the EIU has helped me to explore my interest and potential in a field that — like the EIU itself — lies somewhere on the spectrum between journalism, research and business advisory.”