05 Oct 2015

Case study: Small town makes use of state ZoomProspector data

Alissa Sklar is the director of marketing for GIS Planning. She has extensive experience as a consultant, writer and educator in the fields of technology and communications. Dr. Sklar has a Ph.D. in Communications from the University of Massachusetts of Amherst, and has as worked closely with B2Bs and economic development agencies to assess, develop and implement social media strategies for business development.

One of the great things about attending conferences is the opportunity to meet clients face to face. At the IEDC Annual Conference here in Alaska, I had the pleasure of speaking with Lyn Carden, deputy administrator of the City of Wasilla, a town about one hour north of Anchorage. She was excited to tell me about the ways her community has come to depend on AlaskaProspector.com.

 Wasilla economic development Image By Flickr photographer Nophun201

Here - in her own words - is Lyn's explanation of what access to the state’s ZoomProspector Enterprise means to them:


We are a power user. We’re only 13 miles square. We do have about 8500 residents, but our government is used only via consumer tax. We don’t have property tax, so we try to be very careful and cautious with our dollars. We don’t have a fancy website and we can’t gather a lot of data. That’s where [ZoomProspector] comes in. We are able to zoom down and get all the data that we need.
When we are sending our mayor out to speak to chamber, rotary or travel to the lower 48, we get the numbers from your website: that we have 8500 residents, 8700 jobs in our area, break down the demographics, what money is spent on, what the median income is, what the apartments and housing and all of that. And then we use that information. It’s what we send out with the mayor, or myself as a deputy administrator so that we have some numbers that are tangible or usable.
We just checked [AlaskaProspector.com] last week and were so excited to see the data was updated again. We are really happy. We have this one brochure that has some of the data from ZoomProspector, and another one that is almost all based on data from the website. Having access to this data means we can tell our story. We greatly appreciate that you do the job you do and we can access that.
AlaskaProspector.com is our go-to. Your staff at GISPlanning doesn’t even know that [this website] is like our department. [ZoomProspector] gives us almost all the information we need to go out and be competitive. We can be part of the conversation with other places that have their own dedicated departments. Otherwise we just couldn’t afford to compete.

It’s very relevant to us, and it helps us compete on the global market. So we appreciate you greatly. ZoomProspector is awesome. We love the website you built for us in Alaska!


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