Economic Development Enhanced by Social and Open Source Internet Intelligence

Socio-economic analysis for economic development planning, marketing, the provision of public services – just to name a few has long been dependent on secondary data from sources such as associations, provincial governments and Statistics Canada and primary data from sources such as interviews, surveys and focus groups.

That said, wouldn’t it be valuable to be able to scan and analyze what people are saying on the Internet and social media about issues that are important for economic development? The Internet combined with the explosion of social media enable customers and stakeholders to establish and share their views on the value you provide within minutes. Customers control magnitudes more of the message than ever.

Our business partner, Confidion Consulting, can help you keep up with your stakeholders and customers via “social and open source internet intelligence “(Social & OSINT).

For example, there are often sparse secondary source data or studies describing the effects of tourism in many regions. Therefore, proxies must be used to summarize the changing economics of tourism, such as the number of room and campsite nights sold. Social & OSINT can give us a lot more by answering questions like:

  • What are visitors saying about the region, accommodations, people, food, and destinations? For example, what are people saying about planning trips, attraction/activities interests and direct engagement with operators?
  • What are tourism operators saying about the market and tourism support from levels of government?

Social & OSINT can also scan and analyze data on topics of importance to decision makers in economic development:

  • Issues and concerns among stakeholders (to provide the pulse of citizens and businesses).
    • Do customers see and feel the value of services?
    • Are they delighted or simply satisfied?
  • Stakeholder identification and mapping (to know who consider themselves customers and stakeholders)
    • What organizations and businesses could be impacted by policy changes and how do they anticipate being affected by changes?).
    • Who is the customer? For example, with heritage properties there are multiple customers and stakeholders.
  • Monitoring stakeholders’ reactions to initiatives/projects/events (useful as part of a monitoring and evaluation effort).
    • What are the complaints?
    • What would they like to see?
  • Identification of key opinion makers/influencers (critical for developing communications plans).
    • Which people, businesses and organizations can help with investment attraction?
    • Who do we know that could lead us to people, businesses and organizations we wish to engage in economic development?
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