Within minutes we can see what kind of product we could put in front of prospective companies. As far as economic development is concerned, it is imperative that you have this online GIS data tool.
Jael E. Jones
Former Director, Market Research
One of the best things to use our online tool for is to get a quick snapshot of the available commercial real estate inventory is throughout the 10 counties of southwestern Pennsylvania. So when we're working with perhaps a manufacturer or a company looking for industrial space, we can quickly go on to our website and within minutes, see what type of product we would be able to put in front of the company. We can quickly answer questions about demographics, what a community actually looks like.
With the mapping tool, we can say, "Here are where the best sites are for you to locate" and then show them that instantly on a map as well, in relation as well to all of the other amenities that may be important to them. It’s absolutely fantastic. It makes my job very easy.
When you have analytics tied to your website and you see how many people are actually opening up a PDF or opening up a data table, that's your win. You didn't need to talk to them. You gave them what they needed instantly.
The analytical tools are probably just as important as being able to see what the available listings are. The analytics we're able to pull from the administrative part of the website lets us see who's actually paying attention to your data: is it a government institution? Is it more academic? Do you have a lot of manufacturers looking at your region from West Virginia? The types of analytics that we can get for both the user instantly and also for the operator of the website are invaluable.
With our website, you can go on and find a range of information from demographics, labor force, consumer expenditures, education attainment and talent pool data have been extremely popular these days. It's one of our most favorite features, broken down by location, where you can actually identify in moments who’s graduating from were with which degrees. It's fascinating. It's very powerful.
The mapping tool, where you can go on and add multiple layers about where all the hospitals are, where all the colleges and universities are. You can even choose a type of business or industry and display where all of those companies are within your community within seconds. The community reports give you the data but they also give you a spectacular visualization that you would really have to spend some time to create on your own. You can take that information about your community and you can actually compare it to any other community across the nation within seconds. It gives you the same exact outline where you can look at your community and any other community side by side, that's a very powerful tool as well. Being able to compare communities, being able to look at that information on a map instantly, yes, that's something that we always use on a regular basis.
A lot of different audiences find this tool to be very useful. I would have to say it's imperative to have this for online marketing. You can have a website but what you have on that website is just as important if you're going to make the investment. In a digital world, in a digital economy, if you do not have a presence online and you are not giving your community the opportunity to sell itself without ever having someone pick up the phone to call an organization, you're missing major opportunities. And that's a fact.