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How often have you nodded in agreement with someone when they said, “This information is backed by data?” We all have pretty often. Knowledge (read Data) is power. How you may ask? Data helps predict market trends. Data gives companies an edge over the competition. Data helps businesses make informed decisions. Data helps organizations prepare for challenges before they become full-blown crises. Data helps determine how well your implemented solutions are performing. Data can support your argument. Data increases efficiency. Phew! You get the point.
Downtown Yonge BIA is a nonprofit organization that turned to data during the pandemic to help drive more informed business decisions. Read on to know about their story.
What is BIA?
BIA or ‘Business Improvement Area’ is a nonprofit organization committed to improving the experiences, and ensuring the success, of residents, businesses, members, and all other stakeholders through value-added programs and community activations. Today, there are over 80 BIAs in the City of Toronto.
The Downtown Yonge BIA was founded in 2001. It offers various services to the neighbourhood, including full-time crisis outreach, street operations, public art installations, events, and more.
The pandemic was hard for all industries and businesses, and Downtown Yonge BIA was no exception. So, when COVID-19 hit, Susie Barbosa-Pizzirusso, Manager of Economic and Community Development and her team turned to data to understand the scope of its impact on the neighbourhood, and what steps needed to be taken for recovery. The BIA used Moneris Consumer Location Data (CLD) (Geo-level) to help with the assessment.
Susie first came across Moneris data while looking through a report on neighbourhood spend.
“It’s hard to get this kind of data. I’ve searched everywhere to see what other suppliers were out there, or who else was working with the kind of data we were looking for, and there really isn’t anyone else doing this. So, to some extent, Moneris is a pioneer on that front,” said Susie.
She found that the Moneris Data Services team was very knowledgeable, quick to respond, and took the time to go over her questions, some of which were very sector-specific, in order to fully understand what story the data was trying to tell. “The main thing that appealed to me about the data was where people were coming from and, specifically, their spending by sector. The fact that there were over 30 different sectors outlined that I could drill down on and learn from really piqued my interest,” she added.
The biggest priority for the BIA is to keep the same core focus by continuing to improve the daily experiences of their members, employees, residents, and all other stakeholders with the end goal of strengthening the culture and economics of the neighbourhood.
According to Susie, integrating the data piece into their strategic plans will be a big focus in the coming years. Moving forward, she hopes to obtain time-specific data that will allow her to compare past and present trends across the BIA and see how members might be able to use them for their business.
To learn more about Downtown Yonge BIA and their experience with Moneris, click here.