Decision Maker Panel

  • Business & Management
  • Economy
  • Society

University of Nottingham 


In 2016 Professor Paul Mizen FAcSS, Bank of England and Stanford University, created the Decision Maker Panel to conduct a monthly online survey of 9,500 senior business executives about current business conditions, expected future conditions and uncertainty.

The collection of this timely and reliable data met an immediate need among policymakers and influenced decision-making in the Bank of England, 10 Downing Street, Cabinet Office, HM Treasury and Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The DMP data contributed to key government decisions about interest rates, taxes and business support schemes in response to Brexit and COVID-19.

Research focus

Prior to 2016, business insight was based on small, unrepresentative surveys, while official statistics were available but with a lag. The policy responses required to deal with uncertainty around Brexit and COVID-19 needed more reliable, granular and timely information for immediate use (within a few business days of collection). The DMP provided data for these needs.

Research approach/practice

DMP provides analysis of business responses to current conditions for policymakers in central government by revealing information not available anywhere else about business uncertainty, expected sales, employment and investment in the future. DMP was used to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of policy measures designed to protect jobs and businesses, and to stimulate economic growth e.g. Budget measures. DMP explored changes to society that have occurred in response to COVID-19 e.g. working from home,

Collaborators and partners

The main partners in the DMP are researchers at the Bank of England, Professor Paul Mizen FAcSS at the University of Nottingham and Professor Nick Bloom at Stanford University. The project is funded by the ESRC. The users of the research include the Bank of England, 10 Downing Street, Cabinet Office, HM Treasury and Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Department for Transport and the Home Office.

Impact and outcomes

  • The Bank’s Monetary and Financial Policy Committees used DMP data on business investment, sales and employment as well as uncertainty to justify policy decisions in 25 speeches and 33 official publications such as Inflation/Monetary Policy Reports.
  •  The DMP data on business uncertainty persuaded the Chancellor to raise the Annual Investment Allowance in the 2018 Budget from £200,000 to £1m per annum, allowing over 1,250,000 businesses to invest £19.5bn in the UK economy tax free in 2019-20 alone. The AIA has been maintained at £1m for four years.
  • Data from DMP on the impact at the industry level helped the government design the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) ‘furlough’ and grant support schemes saving many jobs and enabling businesses to survive when the country was in lockdown.
  • The DMP demonstrated that it was possible to collect data from business executives in a new way that offered more quantitative and timely information. This changed the mind-set of the Office for National Statistics, who developed their own fortnightly Business Impact of Coronavirus survey (BICS) to understand the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on business.

Find out more

Learn more about the Decision Maker Panel

“The DMP has become an essential tool to the Bank of England and its Committees. The DMP [has] very quickly established itself as a core part of what we do not just on the monetary policy side of the Bank but [also] on the financial stability side.”

Andy Haldane FAcSS Bank of England Chief Economist

“The timeliness and the granularity of the data have allowed us to observe the impact of Covid-19 on business sales and employment and design policies to mitigate the effects protecting businesses and jobs. These data have informed advice that has been considered by the Prime Minister and the Chancellor when determining the response to Covid-19.”

Chief Economic Advisor to the Prime Minister and the Chancellor

“It has been absolutely central to the evidence base used in our decisions over the past two and a half years …Again and again the Committee has used the evidence provided by the DMP to guide its decisions. It is by far the most influential survey we use.”

Jonathan Haskel Monetary Policy Committee member

‘The DMP acted as an inspiration for the ONS, and in particular led us to proceed with confidence when we developed our fortnightly Business Impact of Coronavirus survey (BICS) because it demonstrated that timely, flexible business surveys are able to deliver useful data and analysis’ and ‘DMP has been a significant success that helped to spur innovation in the ONS … the DMP was a game changer for business surveys.”

Jonathan Athow Deputy National Statistician