How our SPACE methodology transforms Earth intelligence

13th April 2021

Earth Intelligence is a relatively new field – one that amalgamates the best of geospatial, GEOINT, satellite data and much more, into its own unique field. From climate change to ESG policies, Earth Intelligence has risen to the new challenges facing many businesses and governments. That’s why we believe it’s essential to apply Earth Intelligence with an open mind and a forward-thinking outlook.

4EI has always been driven by a passion to investigate and solve Earth Intelligence challenges with innovation and creativity. Our consultancy methodology was inspired by this approach and driven by the need to create new solutions to the many emerging issues caused by changes to our Earth.

SPACE was developed to be a flexible framework that harnesses the power of satellite imagery and allows us to take a more agile approach to our customers’ problems. Through SPACE, we can collaboratively venture into even the most difficult or unique issues and discover the ‘art of the possible’.

One of the biggest priorities when making SPACE was creating a framework that is understandable to the customer. As a collaborative venture, we felt it was important to translate complexity into clarity. That’s why we prioritise talking to our partners in their language and discussing technical solutions, capabilities, and services in a more market-focused format.

A client-first approach

Underpinning all stages of our SPACE methodology is our focus on client needs. Taking the role of an unbiased advisor, we strive to bridge the gap between problem and solution with clarity for our customers.

Through SPACE, we strive to deliver solutions that directly suit the application and the need, rather than just a cut and paste product. We have diverse expertise and many skills at the ready in-house, meaning we can take on almost any Earth Intelligence challenge.

It gives us the room to fully understand our client needs and deliver the data in a way that suits them, whether that’s geoportals, change intelligence and impact assessments, or simply satellite imagery sales.

4EI’S SPACE Methodology 

1. Strategy 

Our strategy stage has been designed to accommodate every type of challenge that encompasses Earth Intelligence. We try to embody an ‘art of the possible’ attitude and facilitate the exploration and innovation of solutions in a very collaborative way. 

Customers can come to us with problems of any nature – whether they want sea level rise risk assessments or want to understand how satellite data can solve their information gaps.  

In the strategy phrase, we gather reconnaissance data from our clients, understanding their desired budget, program and other quality requirements. We collect further data internally and externally which altogether gives us a strong, knowledgeable position from which to create the best approach possible.  

Based on this baseline we can then suggest the best source imagery for their needs. We also make sure at this stage that we’re starting off our relationship completely transparently – outlining all the possible limitations, use cases and benefits of anything we suggest. Because we source imagery from multiple different vendors, we’re able to present the most appropriate solution on the market without bias. 

2. Planning 

Our planning stages is where we begin to kick-off the project design. Again, this process is extremely collaborative. All requirements and specifications are fully fleshed out and, from this, we can create a project plan that is aligned with the initial strategy we set out together. 

What clients appreciate at this stage is that they’re still working with the same project manager from strategy phrases; someone who completely understands their requirements and has built a relationship with them already. 

3. Application 

Now our project team begins to gather all source materials needed to develop the client’s solution. This could include various factors depending on the specifications, from imagery to software to hardware. Our main aim here is to tailor the workflows used to derive the information from the imagery – ensuring we focus in on the right locations, quality, resolution, and so on, for the use case in mind. 

4. Collaboration 

Collaboration is a cornerstone of our SPACE methodology. We believe that by working synergistically with all stakeholders the quality of the output will be exponentially improved. This approach is two-fold: 

Partners and Suppliers: We select the best partners and suppliers in the market; ones that we’ve worked with before and we know share our client-focused approach. This means clients can have confidence that we will deliver on time, on specification, and with accurate data. 

Clients: We keep up consistent communication with our clients. From regular progress updates to reporting, we invite feedback throughout the project to make sure we’re meeting our client’s goals. This also fosters trust by bringing them closer to the development process. 

5. Evaluation 

Our SPACE methodology approach to consulting means we’re engaged with our clients after deployment. The evaluation process serves to both validate the deliverables, and ensure all requirements are met. This includes the following actions: 

  • Evaluate the solution against in situ datasets to gain quantifiable accuracy and ensure we can apply an accuracy statement 
  • Perform QAQC of datasets and  sign-off for delivery 
  • Document any issues or feedback to ensure that standards are met 

We will also distribute any lessons learned to our team internally to help continue our development. With every project we will work to understand our successes, areas of improvement, and any opportunities for future productization.

The benefits of our SPACE methodology for the end customer: 

  • Advocates a customer-first approach to R&D, product development and innovation 
  • Transparently explains the specifications and limitations of any solution 
  • Allows for a more flexible way of working which can rise to a variety of challenges and requirements  
  • Ensures our team can invest time and commitment to figuring out complex problems and developing unique solutions for our customers 
  • Fosters trusting, long-term relationships with our customers 
  • Technical knowledge and expertise is embedded at every stage, from sales to development 

Check out our product innovation hub to see more, or get in touch to start talking about how Earth Intelligence could help you. 

Written by Chris Burnett, 4EI COO & Head of Consultancy

Chris Burnett

by Chris Burnett

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