Personally, it’s been a year where I’ve branched out from my comfort zone, working with new sectors and foreign markets. By no means has it been an easy ride, but what a year it’s been.

Staying true to our roots but branching out

As exciting as work in different markets is, we still remain passionate about supporting our long-standing customers, and enjoy the challenge of bringing new innovation into these sectors.

At the same time we’ve grabbed the opportunity to apply our spatial modelling and location planning expertise to new sectors, demonstrating the power of spatial analytics to new people and markets. We have developed strong partnerships with smaller organisations and have supported their site strategy decisions through providing evidence-based, data driven location intelligence. For these smaller firms – who do not have the capacity in-house – we are able to act as the Location Planning departments and are finding an increasing number of businesses approaching us with this requirement.

Building for the future

Almost all of our customers pre-2014 were UK-based. Given that the current team includes 3 Germans and 1 Australian we realised it was time to take on new challenges. In 2016 we have, and will continue to invest heavily in new, powerful European and US datasets as the first of a global roadmap of new datasets. It didn’t take us long to become acquainted with the perils of such a task. Aside from the translation issues, the varying levels of access (free vs paid-for), data quality and geographical granularity made our lives very difficult, but all led to a high level of satisfaction following the successful delivery of a range of multi-territory projects.

With technology continuing to advance and an increasing need for businesses to harness location analysis in investment decisions, the platforms we are using to deliver our solutions has evolved. As a growing number of users are also from non-technical backgrounds we found it necessary to start building user-friendly, web-based mapping solutions. Many of our clients are reaping the benefits of such applications – there is no software to install, users can access the solution anywhere (providing there’s an internet connection) and sharing of information is straight-forward and seamless.  For larger organisations, bringing together a ‘power user’ desktop GIS and a web tool to share insight across the organisation is a top objective.

What now for 2017?

Whilst the rest of the world may be putting up barriers and dissolving partnerships, we will continue to do quite the opposite: building relationships with new sectors, extending our reach into non-UK markets and opening up our solutions to a much wider audience. What is more, we will continue to enhance our existing products and release new novel data so there will be plenty to look out for throughout 2017. As we move into a new financial year we look forward to tackling new adventures and helping more organisations to make better decisions where locations matters.