Penny Smith, secondary research analyst, has been associated with BMI-TechKnowledge since its inception, having operated the library and information resource centre for the original parent company, the BMI Group.
Penny has 26 years’ experience in sourcing a wide range of secondary data and statistics in support of BMI-T’s research projects: she regularly undertakes vertical sector research analysis and economic analyses, compiles information on companies in South Africa, and specialises in the in-depth interrogation of South African and international statistics and government data.
Penny has acted as a contributing analyst on many BMI-T reports over the years, notably the ICT in government and ICT in vertical sector reports. Recently, she collaborated on the ICT Policy Review for the Department of Communications, and both the original and updated e-Readiness e-Barometers for the PNC on ISAD. Penny has conducted the international ‘best practice’ research component of projects, including the international benchmarking exercise on communications for persons with disabilities, which included site visits to learn best practices from Australia and the United States of America, and formed the basis for current DoC ICT disability policy. For many years she has also provided the economic and political overviews for each African country in BMI-T’s annual Communications Handbook.
Recent work on broadband projects have included sourcing academic research on the economic impact of broadband; searching for information on e-skilling as a component of broadband rollout; searching for case studies on rural broadband projects; and compiling data on the impact of broadband on e-education.
Penny’s background experience in economics, business library consultancy and market research has laid the foundation for a comprehensive knowledge of secondary research sources and techniques, but it is her doggedness and determination to always find the most accurate and pertinent information that gives her the edge as a secondary research analyst.
Penny read economics at the University of Natal, obtaining a BA (Hons) degree, and subsequently completed the Higher Diploma in Librarianship and information Science at the University of Witwatersrand. Previous work experience includes positions as research analyst for three major consumer research houses, and engagements as library and information resource consultant for a number of mining houses and major corporates.