FacilityLocations Blog

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Data: How it works on Facility Locations, Updates and Future Plans

The mission of FacilityLocations is to provide business owners and executives, and consultants to business, an easy yet powerful tool for scouting suitable business expansion and re-location locations. FacilityLocations is a tool that executives use to compile short-lists of location candidates, connect with economic development professionals from those locations and connect with business consultants who can assist in each facet of the site selection process.

How it Works
When clicking Select Site markers (which represent locations) on state and province landing page maps, the user drills-down into a complete profile of that location. Each location profile includes a robust data set and tools (available properties, logistical and real-estate assets, demographics layers and reports etc..) from which the user can determine if the location might be a potential candidate for a short-list. Once that short-list is compiled, the user can take advantage of our economic development organization directory to make a connection to a local representative or send a RFI. Our users can also use the FacilityLocations business services directory to connect with consultant's who can assist your business in all facets of the site selection process.

We have been working tirelessly to bring more and more economic development organization's into the fold to represent their locations as Select Sites. The more Select Sites we sign-up the more location profile pages the user can access with deep data sets and demographics reports. So far we have added 140 Select Site location profiles throughout the United States and Canada.

We are also committed to an on-going campaign of researching and updating every single economic development organization and contact within North America and beyond. Since March we have added or updated 3500 economic contacts to our directory. We currently have 5900 total economic development contacts.

Future Plans
More Consultants: We are currently working on building the consultants directory within FacilityLocations (so far we have 350 listed). For many organizations, the entire site selection process cannot be bootstrapped. There are certain facets that  must be handled by a business services professional. We currently have a strong directory focused on "site selection" consultants. Many of these professionals have experience in assisting with all of the factors of the site selection process (tax and incentives negotiation, in-depth location analysis etc..). We are working on enhancing the directory to (1) make it easy for the user to identify which specific discipline these professionals specialize in and (2) expand the disciplines and services that we cover within the directory (architecture services, construction, environmental, workforce development etc..). We are also working enhancing the UI so that the user can easily search and filter listings according to the specific discipline and service category that is required.

More Data on State and Province Maps: While the user navigates state and province maps for Select Site location's to drill into for deep research, it is helpful if there are other data layers to add context to the Select Site locations. Currently, we have layers for geo-tagged local real estate news (powered by Area Development) and foreign trade zones. But, we are planning to add a whole lot more. We are currently researching or developing layers for population density, income level, education level, industry clusters, broadband access and business incubators/accelerators. We are also collecting data for different types of development organizations...

More Variety in Economic Development Organizations: Our directory comprehensively covers all local, regional, and state-level economic development organizations. We are currently efforting the inclusion of university-level economic development and tech-transfer departments and industry-specific economic development organizations.

If you have any suggestions for data sets or layers that you would like to see included on state/province maps or on location profile maps please use the green "feedback" tab that is positioned on the left side of most pages throughout FacilityLocations (including this one). If you would like to add or update an economic development organization listing please use the link at the top of the FacilityLocations homepage. Finally, if your are an economic developer and your organization is interested in representing your location as a Select Site on FacilityLocations, please click here to learn more.
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