/ Andrew Bateman / City & Land

To move forward with confidence, we must understand where we are going. Sounds simple enough. Choose your destination, buy a map and plot your route. No time for scenery, and don’t spare the horses. But what if you don’t know where you’re going? Or if you’re not sure whether the place you want to go even exists at all?

The topography of our professional landscape is defined by economics, opportunities and constraints, each in constant flux. Big Data – an idea we have touched on before – is a part of this landscape and one of the tools we can use to understand it. It is about extracting value from a data set, allowing us to make decisions with greater confidence and less risk.

Inspired by the ethos of this information movement we have been gathering our own big data, tailored to suit our own ends, with the aim of making better decisions and broadening our horizons. Rows and columns of places, numbers and names; an ocean of knowledge quietly absorbed, before being sorted, filtered and digested, until the path becomes a little clearer.

Who we are matters too. It is the starting point for our journey and will inform both where we want to go and how we want to get there. We have developed a very particular set of skills that will be attractive to some and less so to others; adaptable, but honed to match our values and aspirations. Our contribution is most meaningful if it is received with the same spirit of integrity and creativity.

It is tempting to think that by publishing this on our website we are somehow giving the game away – our inside secrets – but the truth is we are all doing it. The difference is whether we do it consciously and in a focussed manner, or unconsciously.