Next-generation spending analysis is enabling Dublin City Council to evaluate the economic impact of events in the City.
Dublin City Council (DCC), through its Smart City programme, has long been exploring ways to create new types of data insights that support data driven decision making. To this end, the Council has partnered with Mastercard through its City Possible global network, to leverage place-based spending data for Ireland.
This next generation data, which is anonymised and aggregated so that no individual information can be identified, allows users, such as the DCC, to track the impact of specific events or public realm changes across different industry segments in near real time.
Mastercard is no stranger to this type of work, having evaluated the economic impacts of events on local economies around the world – including revealing insights such as an uplift of 14% in restaurant sales during the Australian Grand Prix.
Impact of Events on the Local Economy
To demonstrate the robustness of the programme, we partnered with DCC to evaluate the impact of the American College Football game played in the Aviva Stadium on August 27th. The fact that over 10,000 fans were estimated to have travelled from the US to attend the season opening game presented a unique opportunity to better understand the impact of this event on the local economy.
For this project in Dublin, we analysed spending trends across 85 different services. To distinguish noteworthy variances from the norm, we compared the days up to and after the event to similar periods in May, June, July, and August. The data was aggregated and anonymised so that we could identify and compare spending patterns for Irish, American, European, and other visitors to local spending.
Mastercard Spending Insights
In total, the data included more than €1.2bn in spend on the Mastercard network in Dublin and the surrounding area over the relevant periods. Some of the spending insights from US visitors when comparing the days surrounding the football game to the average spend across similar time periods in May-August are included in the infographic below.
The Power of Actual Spend Data
This data definitively demonstrates the impact the American Football game had on the Dublin economy and, in particular, the increase in American tourist spending. While this was only a proof of concept, it effectively demonstrated the power of utilising actual spend data as compared to using estimates and models.
The new insights generated from this analysis allows DCC to make informed decisions about the potential impact of similar events in the future. On a broader scale, the Mastercard data can be used to evaluate the impact of attracting a major concert, festival, conference, etc. For example, similar data could be used to assess the impact of the five Garth Brooks dates in Dublin in September?
The insights from this data create many opportunities to better understand city investment decisions. It could be used for something as nuanced as analysing spending patterns in different commercial districts as businesses return to near full-time in-office work weeks. Cities that avail of this type of concrete data-driven decision making will be at a considerable advantage when compared to cities that make decisions based on models or anecdotal feedback.
This is a further step in DCC’s evolution towards a culture of more data-driven decision making and utilising data to evaluate the impact of those decisions.
The ultimate goal of this partnership is to address data gaps and provide the best government services for the people and businesses of Dublin.