Mapping Northern tech: what I’ve learnt so far

10 Nov, 2017

Mapping and clustering tech in the hard could it be?

The dust has nearly settled after the initial launch of the Northern tech ecosystem map, and the response has been huge. I’ve just about finished getting through all the comments, feedback (both positive/negative) and notes – thanks so much for all of them.

Product builds and launches are stressful things, particularly when what you are creating something without a clear blueprint. Big-up to the team at Korelogic for all their help developing the product, they’ve been instrumental in building the tool.

A few things have come up time and time again, and I thought it would be worth clarifying a couple of details about the product. Firstly, none of the information in each organisation on the map is provided or sourced by Tech North. Instead, all data is pulled through from Google My Business, or a Facebook page as a back-up.

The idea behind this is to keep information as up to date as possible, and removes the heavy lifting of mass data entry on a regular basis. If your listed information is incorrect, you need to update it here and at your organisation’s Facebook page.

The following organisations are included on the map if they have a Google My Business or Facebook presence (which most do):

  • Northern Stars entrants
  • Upskill participants
  • Companies featured on the Tech North blog
  • Northern Tech 100 companies
  • Northern Tech Award winners
  • Established incubators, accelerators and co-working spaces

To list an organisation in the product, they must have their own unique Google My Business or Facebook page and information. They can’t ‘piggy-back’ off the information from a co-working space or a company headquarters outside of the North.

If you see an organisation that should be on the map according to our methods and isn’t, please let us know here.

Next steps

We are looking to launch a full production version at some point in the New Year. It is likely that there will be further functionality improvements informed by user feedback. We have been discussing including investment data and company stage information as additional data points. Please share your own thoughts and ideas for functionality improvements here.

So what have I learnt? At the very least, clustering is an inherently political exercise, and has the potential to be highly contentious. I mean, I obviously was aware of this before release, but the feedback has really hammered this home. The North is by no means homogenous, and the tech clusters are what really gives each area its own identity and ecosystem.


Explore the ecosystem map.

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