Data tools help make rural communities more competitive

We cannot do enough for rural communities, so GIS Planning helps us leverage some of the opportunities that those individuals don't always have from a resource perspective. As a utility, we can serve those communities by providing tools that allow them to better understand their own value proposition. With this data, they have opportunities to go out and do community development, business attraction, and business expansion, just by having a better understanding of the resources that are in their backyard or within their region. With information on workforce, demographics, available real estate, business and industry clusters, the tool is a phenomenal resource for them and us at APS as well.

Data helps them tell that story

One of the largest successes that I see was that communities are now pulling up the data on their own city, their own regions or counties and really realizing what they have available to them and who they are. It just makes them that much more competitive. With the data, they can create a better understanding of what they need to do to perhaps get to where they want to be going. How can they determine the types of industry they need to go after. If there's a workforce deficiency, how can they partner with some of the community colleges or universities or the vocational schools to help achieve some of the workforce needs. Data helps them tell that story. 

Automatic property data feed

We partnered recently with Real Massive to provide an automatic data feed of all the sites and properties available within the state of Arizona. APS, in conjunction with Arizona Commerce Authority, the state agency, work together to cover the cost of that for the entire state, so anyone can go on and search for free any available property within the state of Arizona. That's a very powerful thing for us and very powerful for the brokers to be able to market themselves, to market to their own clientele. 

The power is really in sharing it with those that are both internal to their community, and with those external to your community, like site selection consultants brokerage firms, etc. We’ve pulled data and reports and those types of things that allow us then to show the site selectors or those commercial brokers the power of the tool and the data that's involved. Sharing that information certainly resonates with them to be able to better understand its power.

The microsite, all in one place

The microsite in partnership with APS and the Arizona Commerce authority has been just a great resource. I think we were probably one of the first to subscribe to it with GIS Planning and we've had it ever since. Anybody who's ever been on it has had nothing but phenomenal things to say about it and the richness of data that's available.

GIS Planning staff always responsive and supportive 

The GIS Planning staff are always on call, extremely supportive, extremely helpful when there's a new feature or resource that's available. I love data and information but I'm not a technology person. Jeff Suneson, our direct contact, is amazing. The marketing team has been more than supportive and responding to my multiple questions. We so appreciate the patience that the team has and the breadth and depth of knowledge that the team has on the tool because there's just so much there that it's hard to keep up with everything that's actually available there. The GIS Planning staff is a phenomenal resource for all of us. If there's something out there, some data that may not be part of the tools just because it's something no one has thought of it yet, the GIS Planning staff has proven their ability to pivot and say “Let's find a way to incorporate it to make it more valuable for your clientele.”