I have been working on the new Acuity website so I have been immersed in the process of distilling clear, concise messaging and communications about our business and editing and reediting web pages to get them just right. I become near obsessive when I do this. I actually started out my career as a SW engineer but quickly gave that up because it made me kind of crazy. Whenever I become engaged in anything remotely technical I remember why. The obsessions grabs me and I find myself up until 3 am in this case painstakingly modifying web pages over and over again until I feel like I am closer to some bizarre and fantasized sense of perfection. Which of course fades quickly the next day when I look at the site again and find scores of typos, bad links, and pages that seemed to have magically disappeared.
What does this have to do with data driven market analysis? Everything; at least for me. I just wrote the following for the “Why Us?” page of the site: “Market research and strategic consulting engagements are a waste of time and money if they do not produce meaningful, quantifiable results“.
Our data driven approach to creating “meaningful, quantifiable results” for our Clients is based on this same obsessive nature. My colleague, Rudie Lion, and I discuss this regularly. We are data hounds. We both derive great joy, perhaps more precisely and somewhat frighteningly, near obsessive pleasure at acquiring data. Especially if it is particularly difficult and challenging to come by.
While the sanity and health implications of this personal proclivity may be questionable, it does lead us to what we believe to be extremely valuable and high quality data and analysis. The numbers themselves are extremely useful. For example, for several years, I keep hearing and reading estimates of the number of passports and ePassports issued annually and in circulation. These numbers were all over the map and seemed to based on a lot of bluster and hand waving. Total circulation estimates ranged form 700 million to over a billion, yet no one ever quoted a source.
So, Rudie and I spent several months in research mode (i.e. obsessing) last year as we endeavored to get the actual data. Our data revealed that there were approximately 730 million passports in circulation in 2009 and that number was projected to grow to about 850 million by 2014. Meanwhile, ePassports were being issued at an annual rate of about 60 million in 2009 with that number expected to rise to about 130 million annually by 2014 representing more than 80% of annual issuance and total circulation.
As I said, the numbers are useful and it is nice to know that, even it these are projections, there is a clear methodology to the madness of how they were developed. It is much more than bluster and hand waving. However, it is the implications of the numbers that is even more useful and interesting. As we discuss in our “Global ePassport and eVisa Industry Report” , the implications of the establishment of a global eID-based travel infrastructure are profound. For more on that, you will have to get a copy for yourself (yes, this is me trying to sell you a report (lol) ).
Hopefully, this process helps us maintain a mutually beneficial – if not symbiotic – relationship with our Clients. We obsess so we can create quality data and associated analysis that is highly valuable to our Clients so they can pay us to obsesses even more to create additional quality data and analysis. Not quite the circle of life … but it keeps Acuity going!
Well, I am back to obsessing about my webpages now. Hopefully, I will be done soon and soon be able to invite you to have a look around our new site!