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Infrastructure project research - a look at some niche tools
Tuesday, 29th May 2012
Governments are looking to infrastructure projects to grow during recession. How can infrastructure practitioners keep up to speed on market developments? We review three key products: IJ online, Inspiratia and Infra News.
One of the consequences of the global downturn is that governments are looking to infrastructure projects as a means to generate jobs and stimulate growth.
Infrastructure projects are best defined as projects that provide a country with the technical structures it needs to operate. Examples might include roads and bridges, rail lines, airports, broadband, water, power and utilities and social infrastructure like schools and hospitals.
Infrastructure projects are usually large scale long term projects and as such will involve complex deal financing (typified by "PPP" or "PFI" projects in mature markets), and long term asset management.
It is a niche area, and for practitioners working within the Infrastructure space there are several tools and products that support research and analysis. We take a look at three market leading products: IJ online; the Inframation suite of products and Inspiratia.
All of these products offer analysis of the global infrastructure markets, plus data on projects and transactions. Here’s a quick run down of some of the key features:
Infrastructure Journal have just launched its new website. The site contains a wealth of infrastructure resources with over 66,000 articles; 10,000 projects and transactions in the assets and transactions database; and 11,000 company listings of companies involved in infrastructure financing. The coverage is very wide, with sectors including social and defence, mining, oil and gas, power, transport, renewables and telecoms.
Project details can be exported to Excel which is always handy, and the MY IJ and briefcase features allow you to personalise and save your research efforts as you go along. IJ publish their annual league table results here too.
Inframation – Infra News, Infra Americas, Infra Latin Americas, Infra Deals
Inframation offer a suite of products for the global infrastructure finance community. The flagship product is Infra News which offers real time updates on infrastructure deals and assets. There are two products targeting specific regions: Infra Americas was joined this year by Infra LatinAmericas- and while it is a little early to judge, Infra LatinAmericas seems to be well up to the usual Infra News quality standard.
Infra Deals is a newly launched tool which provides access to a transactions database listing over 4000 infrastructure transactions. The latter is cut by country, company and asset and is very easy to use.
Inspiratia’s strength lies in its well-written business intelligence articles in the areas of transport, social infrastructure and renewables. They have a good geographical spread and provide a painless way for practitioners to gain an overview of market developments within a particular region.
It has a great look and feel too. Access project data via a snazzy world map to find summaries of projects and their status (e.g. BAFO, closed etc).
Users are able to select the parts of Inspiratia that they want to receive – e.g. renewables, social infrastructure, transport – which makes for a more cost effective subscription.
All three of these services push content to users via regular email updates. There are no native mobile apps for any of the products, although the IJ online site is optimised for mobile and tablet use.
While these aren’t the only project finance or infrastructure sources out there, they are all consistently highly rated by infrastructure practitioners, and are recommended as invaluable research tools for any organisation focusing on infrastructure.
By Sarah Dillingham
Sarah Dillingham has a long track record in delivering successful knowledge management programmes. Her background includes City professional services and central government. She is fascinated with the way that people interact with technology to collaborate (or not!) and the growth of mobile.
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