CIVICTechnologies Takes Business GIS to the Public via the Library

By Directions Staff

Libraries across the U.S. are reporting higher usage rates during the down economy. Patrons are borrowing movies, taking advantage of free museum passes, researching jobs and using computer resources. Some are even making GIS-based business decisions using an online service. Directions Magazine interviewed Marc Futterman, president and CEO of CIVICTechnologies, about its BusinessDecision offering, which you may be able to access at a local library.

Directions Magazine (DM): Can you describe CIVICTechnologies' BusinessDecision service?

Marc Futterman (MF):
BusinessDecision provides consumer market data that positions the library as a key player in community economic development by putting powerful information in the hands of small business owners, non-profits and government agencies.

DM: Why did you decide to serve libraries with a geobusiness service?

Our company embeds GIS in business intelligence solutions. Public agencies, just like the private sector, need market analytics to efficiently and effectively deliver services. People don't care about GIS, nor should they. They do care about making the most well-informed decisions possible. Librarians recognize that BusinessDecision contains resources like GIS that help people make the best possible business decisions.
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DM: What have you learned working with librarians and/or library patrons?

Librarians are on the front line of customer service in the information age. Their expectations of service providers like our company are high because the information consuming public demands excellence and reliability. Of all the public goods, the library is one less appreciated by funding bodies. This is the exact opposite of what should be the case. No other public institution provides information services in the information age. The library is key to our national future.

DM: Have you or your library customers seen an uptick in use of your service with the economic downturn?

The economic downturn has increased library use. Our vision is to help communities achieve economic sustainability: when local businesses are successful, wealth is generated and jobs and taxes increase. Government can't generate wealth. But government, in the form of the library, can make resources available to let the private sector loose to create wealth.

DM: What factors induce a library to invest in your system?

BusinessDecision has the highest quality and most reliable data and is easy to use, and our company provides superior service. We are the market leader and "go to" resource for small businesses needing consumer market data. Librarians have told us that BusinessDecision is the one tool that libraries have in their toolbox that consistently amazes small business owners when they see the value their public library brings to real-world business challenges.

Published Friday, July 31st, 2009

Written by Directions Staff

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