2016 was a weird year, wasn’t it? As I reflect on last year and start executing our plans for 2017, I’m a bit surprised at how fast 2016 went. We had a busy year, and time flies when you’re having fun, but it seems like 2016 flew by! But then again, I also said that last year, so maybe my perception of time is warped.
We made good progress towards one of our driving mantras: fostering fact-based decisions in regional businesses. We collaborated with a number of companies across various sectors to understand their customers and incorporate these insights into their strategies and tactics. And we’re pleased at how many have already started reaping the benefits of these insights. We did much of the foundation work for one of our most ambitious projects to date (you’ll hear more about that as the year progresses). We improved our internal processes around forecasting developments in our focus countries and industries. And, we spent some time understanding the internal blockages corporate decision-makers face when trying to ground their decisions in fact.
Despite this progress, I’m still a bit disappointed that we had to pause article publication, which was one of our avenues to support fact-based decisions by providing independent analysis. This was a deliberate decision on our part. We wanted to spend more time understanding the type of information our readers really needed to make decisions. After conversations with both current subscribers and people who’d never even heard of us, we have revamped our articles and will now publish two content streams:
- Our Blog will focus more on what we do here at Antilles Economics. We have had quite a few requests for more detail about our work, which has always been a challenge given the need to preserve the confidentiality of our clients and the fact that our work spans so many different fields. Nonetheless, we can definitely provide more insight into what we do. Our Blog will focus on our research areas and the industries and functions we support, our thoughts on economics developments throughout the region, case studies about previous work and updates on current projects (where feasible). We hope that this will give you not only a greater appreciation of the scope of our work, but also provide you with useful information about developments in your industry/country as well as practical suggestions on making better decisions in your functional role.
- Our AE Quarterly newsletter will contain research articles on our core industries, functions and research areas. Previously, our articles were accessed through our Blog, and you never knew when a new article would be published. We will now publish articles in March, June, September and December, and only subscribers will be able to access the full article. Subscription is free, and if you haven’t already subscribed to receive our articles, click here to sign up.
Another area we’re going to improve on in 2017 is keeping you informed of our work in economics. Although our roots are in economic analysis and we spend the bulk of our time working on projects that have national or regional impact, you’d never know if you visit our website. So we will fix that this year by sharing more about our economic policy work. We will also be sharing more about our industry tracking and forecasts. I bet you didn’t know we have built a forecast model of the entire Barbados economy, including all of its key industries, and we have a macroeconomic forecast model for Trinidad and Tobago. We also have tourism forecasts models for almost every tourism-dependent country in the English-speaking Caribbean and tracking models for regional consumer finance and the economies of Jamaica and Guyana. Our clients access updated information and forecasts on the indicators within these models through our dashboards and custom reports. We have hinted about this in the past (see here and here) and there’s even a link to our dashboards on our website (see here), but this year we will feature this type of work more.
So that’s it for how we’re welcoming 2017 here at Antilles Economics. What are your plans for the year?