Anthea Stratigos – January 23, 2017
The old adage “where there is a will, there is a way” reminds me of Outsell’s experience with the information industry: where there is a subject, there is information. Just about every topic known to man has some kind of information source supporting it, and boy is it getting ever more specific in our data-driven analytics world. Years ago, I joked with our team about the specificity that goes with our industry. Whether esoteric scholarly journal titles, magazines focused on very narrow audiences, or today, out on the web, there is a topic being followed for just about anything on the planet.
We are always asked to study very narrow areas of this industry … because someone, somewhere is trying to be successful in these sectors. I’ll never forget the phone ringing, the client on the other end wanting to know about news gathering and the role of helicopters — you know, Chopper 5 and its role in the nightly news. This prospective client had a fleet, was investing more broadly, and this was one commercial use of his equipment. How big was the industry? Who are the competitors? What are news stations doing with the acquisition of this kind of activity? Was spending going up or down? Would drones replace? Would government regulations interfere? And so on and so forth.
A couple of years ago we looked at freemium legal models in Poland. Seriously. And every time I have to speak of our industry’s specificity, I make up the proverbial use case of someone wanting to know about veterinarian information in Denmark. In the US, we’ve been asked to look at the “guide space” — the type of content that is licensed by newspapers, websites, or cable networks to provide programming or movie information. We’ve been asked to compare data quality on credit reports. And don’t forget helicopter news. You name it, we get invoked. That’s the fun and crazy thing about what we do. One man’s commodities research, is another man’s veterinarian info (or woman’s.)
So, boy did we get a chuckle this past week when we learned about a system that use an analytics solution and sensors to boost shellfish yields, or the announcement from Loma Linda University researchers’ about expanding sea turtle research smart phone apps — new products to assist turtle researchers and citizen-scientists. I love it.
I’ve written about the emerging cannabis industry and the information solutions that surround it, and now — god bless sea turtles and oysters. At Outsell, we say information is fuel for the human spirit, and it’s why we get out of bed in the morning. To support its providers. When we help the providers of helicopter news, sea turtle researchers, the providers of freemium legal information, or veterinarian info, we are helping their users make this planet a better place.
In case you are on the lookout for some pretty cool solutions, besides those I just mentioned, take a look at WelIntel, who promises to know your groundwater; Mavrx ,who is here in SF and will turn information into better crop yield; or Mesur.io, a DC Based company using sensor technology and advanced analytics to optimize water usage for agriculture and golf turf management (a big deal when it comes to water usage.) It gets pretty darn nichey, but in the niches there is hope and positivity.
So, I love this industry. I love what we do, and why we do it. If you’ve got any cool, emerging companies you want us to feature, send them my way. Who knows, penguins might be next! If you are in one of those crazy narrow sectors (or a big broad one), and you need decision-support, we are here for you, and we specialize in this. It’s all we do, day in and day out, for the past 20 years, and for many to come.