Guest blog: How UK local governments can leverage geospatial data

This blog was written by MBA students at Strathclyde University: Anamika Kinattukara, Ebin Cherian, Akarsh Valiya Valappil, and Aiswariya Bindhu Ganeshkumar.

As part of our capstone project, we, a team of four MBA students from the University of Strathclyde, collaborated with Diagonal to research the market nuances for Diagonal’s geospatial mapping software, Skyline, with a focus on targeting UK local authorities. We synthesized this research to propose a tailored marketing strategy.

What we did

We conducted qualitative analysis through insightful interviews with key stakeholders in UK local authorities, uncovering their pain points and requirements. Simultaneously, we performed quantitative analysis based on demographic data such as council size, budget, and funding aimed at town regeneration.

This groundwork laid the foundation for a customer segmentation strategy, enabling a marketing approach finely tuned to the unique needs and advantages of the target market segment.

What we found

Our exploration of the UK geospatial information system (GIS) market unveiled a thriving and strategically positioned ecosystem. The UK acknowledges the transformative potential of location data and technology in driving economic growth, enhancing public services, and addressing environmental challenges, as outlined in the visionary UK Geospatial Strategy 2030. It was noteworthy to discover the UK ranks in second place in the global geospatial readiness index, supported by a £6 billion annual turnover and a workforce of 30,000 within the geospatial sector. The government’s substantial investments in research and development, accessibility to location data, and the fostering of innovation underscore its dedication to advancing geospatial capabilities.

This robust geospatial ecosystem is propelling economic, societal, and environmental progress across the UK. Surprisingly, we found that GIS applications within UK local authorities extended far beyond traditional urban planning and infrastructure management. Geospatial analysis is used across diverse areas such as public health, emergency response, environmental conservation, and social services. Local authorities are leveraging GIS to address an extensive array of community needs. However, there is potential for greater standardization and data integration to enhance usability.

How we worked together

Working with the team at Diagonal proved to be a profoundly collaborative experience. The company’s unwavering commitment to cooperation was evident throughout our engagement, whether it entailed facilitating interactions with local authorities and external partners or generously allocating time for insightful interviews. Diagonal, as an early-stage startup with a steward-owned structure, showcased a clear dedication to values that prioritize purpose over profit. This ethos resonates with the company’s objectives and is manifest in its proactive collaborations with universities.

The team’s commitment to open communication played a pivotal role in ensuring the timely and successful completion of our project.

Diagonal is committed to educative partnerships. We are keen to set research challenges, work with individual researchers, and work as industry partners bringing our tooling and expertise to forge lasting relationships. Start the conversation with us at


October 2023