A Cook Islands’ IT star is bringing some world-leading data analysis and property expertise to the country.
Mana Etches, an Information Systems Masters graduate from the University of the South Pacific, has been working on public and private sector projects using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for 10 years and systems development for the last 20 years.
He realised there were limitations to GIS in how and what data was being presented for clients.
“GIS is very good but it still relies heavily on skilled operators to source and interpret data and that’s expensive and prone to error,” he said.
This year, before the coronavirus pandemic, Etches left his corporate job and partnered with two other property and development experts to establish a company called Inform.
“We realised that we had the knowledge and skills to take much more diverse data, automate the analysis and provide the information and solutions that clients really want,” Etches said.
Using powerful analytics, GIS coding and rapid app builders, the Inform team can take seemingly unrelated data and provide analytics and strategic property advice for public and private sector clients.
“We still use GIS as the presentation platform but it’s the information that’s generated that’s the real gold,” he said.
“Imagine having the ability to understand the links between community health and wellbeing with property prices and development feasibility.”
While the team is focused on property and development at the moment, they have some big aspirations.
At this stage their focus is on the property sector, however the technology can be used easily in other sectors where good data exists including fishing forestry, healthcare and Covid-19 tracing.
“Our only limit is data, the better this is the better the outcomes,” he said. “We can operate anywhere in the world from our home bases in either New Zealand or Cook Islands.”