Bird — Spring ‘21
Micro-mobility is the usage of lightweight transportation like scooters and bikes that helps pedestrians complete the “last mile” of their trip. The biggest advantage of micro-mobility is the vast and growing number of potential users, given the trend of employees migrating from rural to urban settings in recent years. Bird is a new micro-mobility company founded in 2017. The company is now a direct competitor to big names in the micro mobility industry like Lime, Spin, Lyft bikes, and VOI Technology. Beyond catering to their end user’s mobility needs, Bird has also committed itself to the mission of creating a brighter and more eco-friendly future by reducing car trips, traffic, and carbon emissions.
The micro mobility industry is relatively young. As it was beginning to accelerate in 2019 and was projected to be a “$300-$500 billion market by 2030,” it faced a huge blow from the COVID-19 pandemic. The entire industry is now in an estimated 60% decline as per McKinsey, but is expected to fully recover by 2025 and grow beyond that.
However, in order to recover, companies must first understand the impact that the pandemic had on transportation rates, given the sharp decline in daily commutes all around the world. This is where we, DiversaTech, come in with our partnership with Bird to develop a new-market prioritization framework and convert transportation and movement data collected during the pandemic into a tailored business strategy for a post-COVID world.
The Bird team at DiversaTech stayed true to its name, fostering a diverse group of consultants, managers and advisors. We all hailed from a wide range of backgrounds which allowed each of us to present unique perspectives to the problems put in front of us. Some of us on the team, including myself, were new consultants for DiversaTech who had no prior experience working in the consulting or micro-mobility industries. However, regardless of our experiences we were all given the opportunity to learn how professional teams conduct data analysis on real-life industry data. We spent about 2 to 3 weeks collecting data on various cities and standardizing it for later analysis. At first we were unaware of the difficulty in collecting standard and specific data, and this process forced us to become more creative in finding new metrics of cities to use in our universal indicator. During meetings, we decided the metrics we want to use, rankings to give each one, justifications for them, and risks and mitigations for the universal index we calculated in order to rank each city on a fair and level basis.
For the second phase of our project, we worked with the online geospatial data visualiser called Kepler which helped us map out our data and look at a variety of trends and metrics that we had come up with in order to add another dimension to our analysis. While we had become more proficient with our responsibilities, the fast paced nature of this phase still challenged all of us to come up with our best quality of work with new tools under a short amount of time, which we did successfully.
Through building our midpoint deliverable presentation, we were able to convey all our data analysis results and corresponding strategies in a digestible manner to Bird. But we were only able to do this because we learnt how to better organise our thoughts, communicate, and collaborate in different group-settings throughout the semester at DiversaTech. With each week’s meeting being focused on a singular goal that led up to our midpoint deliverable or our final deliverable, we all had a sense of purpose that permeated into our work to facilitate more effective communication, which was especially important in the days leading up to our deliverables.
Thus, from the perspective of a new consultant, fresh to the world of tech consulting, I can confidently say that I’m mesmerised by this industry, and I continue to be fascinated on a daily basis by the rapid growth that this field sees. I’m still speechless when I think about how much I’ve learnt about teamwork, cooperation, and responsibility despite either leading or supporting numerous projects before this.