How Henley Business School Conducts Pioneering Research With Beauhurst Data

“The question of high-growth firms — and how they manage to grow so successfully — has never been more important than in a post-COVID world.”

Maksim Belitski, Associate Professor of entrepreneurship and innovation

Academic research

Whiteknights, Reading, RG6 6UD


Maksim Belitski has been working at Henley Business School since 2014. As associate professor in entrepreneurship and innovation, he researches and supports the UK’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, and is an expert data cruncher.

Maksim and his team of four researchers have been Beauhurst subscribers since May 2020, using the platform for statistical analysis and modelling, with the aim of publishing their findings in industry-leading journals. His current project focuses on spinout companies, and identifying the factors that contribute to their success: what sectors are they in? Which organisations support them? Which institutions do they originate from?

We sat down with Maksim to learn more about his process and how Beauhurst powers his research.

Key uses of Beauhurst

    • Saves me months of data cleaning
    • Data quality is exceptional and very reliable
    • Fantastic support from our account manager

As academics, there’s no point in even having a conversation without accurate data. Ideas will stay as ideas unless they’re backed up with evidence.

The question of high-growth firms—and how they manage to grow so successfully — has never been more important than in a post-COVID world.

Data cleaning is no more — I skip straight to the analysis and can literally save months of my life.

Painting the full picture with Beauhurst data

I’m very familiar with using data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS), the Centre for Cities and the data collected by universities themselves. But these sources leave a lot to be desired. They tend to be one dimensional, and difficult to interlace or draw meaningful insights from; we might be able to form the skeleton of a business story, but we miss out on all the fleshy bits of data to fill it out. 

Beauhurst data adds a whole new layer of detail and can easily be combined with our existing data to form an in-depth picture of a company’s growth journey. Now we can get very accurate answers to how university spinouts can survive, innovate and secure funding (to name a few).

On top of this core set of company data, the COVID-19 Impact dataset has also been invaluable. We’ve used these impact statuses as a measure of resilience, and been able to look at the top performing companies to identify the characteristics that help them overcome the effects of COVID-19.

This is just one set of unique classifications that Beauhurst does very well. I’m also really keen on the buzzwords to find trending technologies and the different measures of growth, like reaching scaleup status or attending an accelerator. Combining these “avant garde” data points with standardised financials, owners and board members paints a very clear picture, and provides a really clear path for where I can advance my field. 

Generating meaningful insights with the Beauhurst platform

I have a background in Geography, so I really like the map feature to visualise clusters of companies and flows of investments — it’s small elements like that that make the Beauhurst platform stand out from other data providers. 

The alerts are also really helpful. Each week I receive an email with updates on all of the companies that I care about. These are excellent signposts and mean that I can quickly dip into the platform and to find exactly what I’m interested in, with really clearly structured profiles. 

Transforming the process of Data Analytics

I once worked on a project at the University of Loughborough, which involved amalgamating twelve years worth of data in one spreadsheet. Every year that the data was collected, the methods, variables and notations changed — it was a complete mess. I ended up spending nine months (including the weekends!) cleaning up the data. 

Beauhurst data removes the need for this entirely. I can download the data straight to excel, and know that all the variables are consistent across the last decade — it literally saves months of my life. 

There are lots of projects going on at once, and I wish I had more time to work with Beauhurst data. But whilst I don’t, the platform makes it really easy to get what I need quickly.

Tailored support whenever it's needed

From our very first training session with Layla, I was ready to get stuck into the data. Layla showed us all the features that would make our lives easier and quickly got us up and running, and ensured we got value from the very beginning. 

Whenever I have a question about the data or any features, I just send a message over to Layla who comes back with an answer. In some cases, my questions have been quite detailed, so we’ve scheduled a session to talk through everything. This support is so important and helpful, because there’s so much that you can do with the platform.

Want to see how Beauhurst could transform your job?

Book a 25 minute demo today to see all of the key features as well as the depth and breadth of data on the Beauhurst platform.

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Everything will be customised around your business and needs, so you can explore relevant data and get the most out of the platform.

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Beauhurst is a single source of truth on the UK’s high-growth economy – it truly is our guiding light in finding the right businesses to approach.