Data-driven Analytics at the Core of What We Do
Communities and regions that invest in broadband networks do so because they understand that it is essential digital infrastructure for their future. By not having digital infrastructure, they face population and business losses, higher costs in providing civic services, and significantly hindering business attraction and limiting economic growth.
Competitive and robust broadband is essential and part of a larger community vision that digital infrastructure is a platform to improve the quality of life for citizens and the economic prospects for businesses. Community benefits from digital infrastructure include:
- Competitive, robust broadband so all residents and businesses have the bandwidth they want and need to access online services and stay relevant in an increasingly digital economy
- Transforming municipal operations to drive digital efficiencies, improve access to quality education and health care, and better coordinate public safety and emergency response
- Enabling Smart Services for local residents and businesses that also create new opportunities to grow the revenue base
- New business startups, local economic growth and expansion of workforce opportunities
Maximizing these community benefits and local economic impacts from digital infrastructure investments can be planned and managed only if they are measured. This is exactly what Strategic Networks Group has been doing for almost 20 years: we collect and analyze data from broadband users, transforming it into actionable intelligence.
To make the right decisions and develop effective action plans you need the right information. Empirical data is the foundation to any analysis, ensuring that you take the right steps and can measure results. Key questions to ask and answer include:
- How is broadband being used? By whom?
- Can digital infrastructure be used in more impactful ways?
- What are the gaps and what insights can be learned to inform steps forward?
- Does investing in digital infrastructure investment pay-off for our community? Can this be self-financed?
- What are the measurable benefits of digital infrastructure to the community and how can they be personalized to local residents, businesses, and organizations?
Putting the Right Data to Work
SNG has amassed an industry-unique database of more than 75,000 broadband users across North America (including statewide data for nine American states) and in Europe exploring exactly these questions. More importantly, this database has enabled the development of key insights and tools to drive local economic growth and realize community benefits from broadband. Moreover, quantifying the community returns from digital infrastructure investments focuses attention on those expected outcomes, which helps prioritize goals and becomes a driver for engaging local stakeholders and organizations.
The first step in any analysis is to assess the current state of digital infrastructure and use across the community or region. This baseline allows SNG to identify gaps, opportunities, and barriers that need to be addressed. Analysis of benchmark data provides insights on how to drive digital transformation. SNG has developed proprietary tools and methodologies that apply our unique research to estimate the potential impacts and benefits of investing in digital infrastructure and transformation. Finally, ongoing measurement against the baseline enables evaluation of progress toward desired outcomes and the assessment of plans and programs to address the gaps. As the saying goes, you can’t manage what you can’t (or don’t) measure.
SNG’s experience in data collection, benchmarking, and years of analysis ensures that you will have the right data and insights to make the right decisions at the right time. Our experience also enables us to conduct the data collection in a very cost-effective way with participation rates three to four times above the industry average.
SNG Solutions Put Your Data to Work
SNG offers a range of solutions for different client needs, whether you are a community just starting to explore how to improve your broadband status quo, a municipality, utility, or broadband provider looking to get more from your network investment, or a region or state government needing fact-based evidence to formulate strategies and programs. In all cases we strive to match our research and analytics to your unique needs to provide you with actionable intelligence.
Economic Feasibility Assessment – Ideal for municipalities taking early steps toward establishing their own broadband infrastructure. The Economic Feasibility Assessment helps you get started and provides insights and analysis of how your efforts will pay off for your community in the long run. Our analysis goes well beyond the typical service provider business case financials to illustrate the real meaningful impact your investments can have on citizens, businesses, and your community overall.
Community Readiness Assessment – Municipalities that have decided to move forward in owning their digital future need to ensure that they are as ready as possible to achieve successful outcomes. Getting from your vision to outcomes can be a multi-faceted process that involves partners and stakeholders in the community. Engaging these stakeholders early not only involves them in the process to achieve consensus and support across the community, but it also provides valuable input from a wide range of perspectives. SNG’s Community Readiness Assessments provide easy-to-use online tools to invite key stakeholders in your community to participate in evaluating readiness, affirming strengths and revealing gaps that need to be addressed to ensure success. Two versions of the assessment are available. The Community Broadband Readiness Assessment is tailored toward broadband digital infrastructure initiatives, while the Smart City Readiness Assessment focuses on smart city initiatives.
Market Demand and Economic Baseline – Municipalities and utilities that are planning or have already established a network need to ensure that it is both sustainable and delivers the desired social and economic outcomes. Sustainability of operations ensures that the network can grow and meet the needs of the community, so understanding community needs and demand for services is essential. In addition, knowing how the network is used and how you can influence these uses that delivers the benefits and impacts from your investment. The Market Demand and Economic Baseline establishes your own data benchmark around demand and uses of broadband to inform your planning decisions and to assess how to get the most out of your network. Your own benchmark also provides the base for measuring progress and outcomes from your efforts.
Small Business Growth Program – Small businesses are the often-overlooked drivers of local economies, both through their own business activities and through the jobs they create as they grow. SNG research has shown that the more effectively businesses use broadband for online applications, the faster they grow by being more relevant, productive, and competitive. The Small Business Growth Program applies SNG analytics to show individual businesses what more they can do online, and why it matters to their bottom line, in a way that is relevant to them. We know that small businesses, as well as our clients, have many priorities, which is why the Small Business Growth Program includes valuable easy-to-use online tools to educate and assist businesses and help our clients stay on top of progress.
eSolutions Benchmarking – States and regions that understand the value of ubiquitous, quality broadband connectivity need the right data and analysis to get a clear picture of the current state of broadband and its use. Knowing where the gaps are and why, as well as the potential outcomes of closing those gaps, aids in creating effective strategies, plans, and programs. SNG has years of experience in working with state and regional-level clients to collect and analyze data cost-effectively and with above average participation rates.
Ultimately, all of these services share a common goal that is at the heart of what we do: help communities get the digital infrastructure they need and get the most out of the broadband they have.
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