This week we‚Äôre gently unveiling our Pixalytics Portal at the DATA.SPACE 2018 Conference taking place in Glasgow.
We‚Äôve not attended DATA.SPACE before, but great feedback from some of the last years attendees convinced us to come. It‚Äôs an international conference focusing on the commercial opportunities available through the exploitation of space-enabled data and so it seemed the perfect place to demonstrate our new development.
Regular readers will know we‚Äôve had the product portal idea for a little while, but it often went to the back of the work queue when compared to existing work, bid preparation and our other developments. Hence, six months ago we pinpointed the DATA.SPACE as our unveiling event!
On the 1st and 2nd February at Technology & Innovation Centre in Glasgow we have a stand where we‚Äôre inviting everyone to come up and have a look at the portal and give us feedback on the idea, principles and the look and feel of the portal.
We‚Äôre demonstrating five products, and we‚Äôre looking to expand this, these are:
- Landscape Maps of the UK
- Water Extent Mapping
- Flood Water Mapping
- Coastal Airborne Lidar Survey Planning Datasets
- Open Ocean Water Quality Parameters
We‚Äôre not just attending, we‚Äôre exhibiting and Sam‚Äôs presenting!! So we‚Äôre going to have the full triumvirate conference experience. Sam is presenting in the first day‚Äôs second session titled ‚ÄėLooking at our Earth‚Äô which starts at 11.10am. Her presentation is called ‚ÄėGrowing Earth Observation By Being More Friendly.‚Äô
Developing this portal to its current state has been a really interesting journey. When we began we didn‚Äôt know why some of the larger companies haven‚Äôt cracked this already! Six months later and we‚Äôve started to understand the challenges!
We thought it might be helpful to reveal are five top learning points for any other SME‚Äôs in our industry considering developing a portal. They are:
- Challenging the Digital e-commerce Process: Standard digital e-commerce systems allow customers to purchase a product and then download it immediately. The need to have an additional step of a few minutes, or even hours, to undertake data processing complicates things. It means that simple off-the-shelf plug-ins won‚Äôt work.
- Don‚Äôt Go for Perfection: Building a perfect portal will take time. We‚Äôve adopted the approach of Eric Ries, author of The Startup Way, who advocates building a system for ten purchases. We‚Äôre perhaps a bit beyond that, but certainly we know that this will only be the first iteration of our portal.
- Linking The Moving Parts: Our portal has a web-front end, a cloud processing backend and the need to download requested data. We‚Äôve tried to limit the amount of data and processing needed, but we can‚Äôt eliminate it entirely. This means there are a lot of moving parts to get right, and a lot of error capturing to be done!
- Legal & Tax issues: Sorting out the products is only one part of the process, don‚Äôt forget to do the legal and tax side as that has implications on your approach. We have learnt a lot about the specific requirements of digital services in e-commerce!
- Have a deadline: We chose to exhibit at DATA.SPACE to give us a deadline. We knew if we didn‚Äôt have a hard deadline we‚Äôd still be debating the products to include, and have developed none of them! The deadline has moved us really close to having a portal.
If you‚Äôre at DATA.SPACE this week, please come up and say hello. If you‚Äôve got a few minutes to spare we‚Äôd love to get you feedback on our portal.