As AIRINC marks an impressive milestone of 70 years in business, we reflect on our journey of data collection and analysis that has spanned the decades. 

At AIRINC, flexibility has always been key. The problem of assessing and understanding cost-of-living across the world has always been complex, and we’ve needed to continually adapt our approach to keep up with the quickly changing world around us.

Our market basket of goods and services is intended to represent a vital aspect of our clients' lives across the globe – how we all live! Technology is always the biggest driver of changing lives, and our market basket has had to evolve to reflect that. Gone are the days of collecting prices for fax machines, blank CDs, or a Kodak camera film roll. Instead, we look for streaming services, rideshares, and smartphones. 

So, too, have our collection methods changed with the times. For many years, before the internet became so incredibly powerful as to indelibly change every aspect of our day-to-day lives, we relied solely and entirely on physical travel around the world (and of course, the trusty telephone). Researchers (or Surveyors, as they were once called), would often spend 6-8 weeks on the road, visiting hundreds of shops and physically finding and collecting prices for thousands upon thousands of items. Unsurprisingly AIRINCers are well traveled – recently we found out that we have traveled to over 170 countries!

Perhaps what’s most remarkable is the fact that physical collection is still the best method for countless locations across the world. As overwhelmingly interconnected as we often appear, there is still an incredible amount of information that can only be reliably obtained by going out and finding it for yourself. And if you are interested in finding out more, subscribe to our blog where our researchers provide regular updates on their travels across the world.

But it’s not the only method any longer – and as the times have changed, so have we. Researchers now spend a good amount of each quarter hunting down information online – whether directly through a store’s site, through apps or emails, and contacting remote sources and creating new ones. 

And of course, there is still, always, the trusty telephone.


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