Get to know James Smith

In our new ‘Get to know’ series, we will introduce a different member of staff each month, to give our customers insight into the different roles and expertise at the Hub and the people that perform them.

We would like to introduce James Smith, our Business Information Analyst.

What is your role at the Hub?

I work as a Business Information Analyst where my focus is providing dashboards and applications for both internal and external stakeholders using platforms such as PowerBi or Qlikview. I also produce ad-hoc data analysis when required and help run projects. I have previous NHS experience working in both strategic and operational procurement so often apply this knowledge in developing various projects. Recently alongside the category teams we have been creating several KPI dashboards to assist our customers.

What is the biggest challenge you face in your role?

As a data analyst working within the NHS, sometimes the biggest challenge is ensuring that any datasets you work with are secure and anything you create from these is fully auditable and GDPR compliant. Building robust and user-friendly applications can be difficult especially due to the NHS having a fragmented IT landscape between organisations.

What do you find most rewarding about your role, or working in the NHS?

I’ve worked within the NHS for over 10 years now and just enjoy working in a role where you feel you are part of an organisation that helps so many people. I’ve always enjoyed building visuals or analysis using data which others need help with – for example – sometimes you can’t beat the simple joy of showing someone how to build an excel pivot table for the first time!

What was your first job?

I was a shop assistant at Membury Service station on the M4. Getting up at 4:30am for a Saturday morning shift certainly took some getting used to as a 16-year-old! At least you used to get a free breakfast from the granary.

Do you have any hobbies?

Running – I call it a hobby although some may think that I’m a bit too obsessed with it! I run most days not just for the physical benefits, but I find the mental release it gives me helps immeasurably with life’s daily stresses. I never thought when I started running, I would end up running marathons, representing my county at national events and even meeting my wife through running!

This year will be my 10th London Marathon and to mark it, I’m raising money for Alzheimer’s Society due to reasons very personal to me.

James Smith is fundraising for Alzheimer’s Society (

The local newspaper recently featured it on the front page:

Newmarket jogger Jimmy Smith plans year of race tributes to his dad, Fred (

What is your dream holiday?

Probably the best holiday I’ve had so far was a couple of weeks travelling around Japan in 2018 after running the Tokyo Marathon there. My dream holiday would be hiring a campervan with Mrs Smith and traveling around New Zealand for as long as possible. Any time we see New Zealand on TV it just looks an amazing place to visit (and plenty of nice hills to run up and down!).