An Australian tourism ‘knowledge bank‘ could well be providing answers to the tourism industry’s burning questions if a project by data experts at Metrix Consulting takes off.
The leading Perth-based marketing insights and strategy firm has secured Federal Government funding to look at identifying, unlocking and integrating new data sources to better measure tourism and inform decision-makers.
Metrix founder Marquis Pohla (pictured) said the project aimed to provide fresh insights into accommodation and visitors, with a view to building a national tourism knowledge base that was flexible enough to assimilate new data sources as they became available.
“We’re delighted to have received a national Business Research and Innovation Initiative (BRII) grant to assess the feasibility of building an Australian tourism knowledge base that answers key tourism questions,” said Pohla.
“As part of the feasibility study we’ll be using data sources that can fill in gaps in the existing data, which is currently dominated by hotels. We’ll be seeking to incorporate sources that can provide insights into the newer disruptors in the market, such as those in the sharing economy, along with visitor insights incorporating data on actual spend and behaviour.”
Metrix is one of only four Australian businesses receiving a BRII grant this year to investigate ways intelligent data can be used to transform the delivery of tourism services. It is the only one of the four to have originated in Perth.
Pohla said news of the grant followed a busy 12 months for Metrix, which has recently reported a 20% sales growth, opened an office in Sydney and diversified its offering. Its year-to-date growth is at 36% compared to the same period last year.
“We’re operating in a highly competitive environment but it’s driving innovation and the delivery of more integrated approaches to marketing and business strategy. That’s what the C-suites and Boards are looking for.”
“In a tough Australian economy, government and business know they need to be able to action insights from market research to generate a return on that investment.
“While we’ve always had a strategic approach to data extraction, analysis and insight generation, we’ve significantly ramped up our capabilities and invested in great operators who understand how intrinsic insights are to the successful development and execution of strategy across marketing and beyond.”
Pohla said Metrix has been on a recruitment drive to secure specialists with creative agency, client-side and management consulting experience.
“While it’s true that technology and new diagnostic tools have dramatically improved market research over the past few years, there is still growing demand for specialist consultants that can translate data to insight – and insight to strategy.”
A Telstra Business Awards finalist, Metrix currently has a team of 25 people, including five on the east coast. The firm expects to hire more specialists in the fields of research, data science and strategy across all three offices.
Pohla said geographic expansion was important as the east coast presented a very large market for Metrix, which has already added City of Melbourne and Yarra Valley Water to its client portfolio in 2019.
“Delivering data in a way that business can immediately use is our point of difference and it’s fuelling our growth. It’s nice to reverse the trend of wise men from the east consulting to the west.”
“Our reputation has also led to opportunities in Asia in the data analytics space, while in Western Australia our focus is on service development in evolving or adjacent fields.
“There are so many areas for potential expansion and ultimately there will need to be an element of prioritisation, but we are well equipped to handle future growth with a strong management team in place.”