It’s fun to talk about the potential and possibilities of drones, and how they might someday transform businesses and the airspace itself. More and more stories about the farm of the future or why air deliveries are going to change the world appear all the time, but such developments depend on where and how drones are actually being used today. Getting there means being able to understand who’s buying drones and using drone software right now. Defining that future can only happen if we can understand why individuals and organization in the present have or haven’t moved forward with adoption.

That kind of insight is the exact sort of thing that the third annual Drone Market Sector Research study from Skylogic Research, LLC is set to gather. It will examine worldwide drone sales, service providers, business users, and software services to identify and understand how industries are challenged with and benefiting from drone use. It will also define who the major brands are, and what opportunities provide the best chance of market success.

The Skylogic team has come up with a survey that is designed to uncover fresh insights on which drone industry sectors are thriving (and which aren’t) and how businesses are using drone-acquired data in their day-to-day operations. It will explore what most concerns businesses that perform drone-based projects and why. Some of these topics have been explored in years past though, so will this survey be more focused on picking up on previous research, or exploring new territory?

“This year’s study will do both,” said Colin Snow, CEO and Founder of Skylogic Research. “It will update insights gained in previous research and expand in a few areas where we’ve not been able to get data in the past. For example, we’ll get updates on the market share of the drone aircraft vendors and we’ll will now get data on specific DJI models. From that we’ll be able to report the most popular uses and the professions that use those models.”

Additionally, the 2018 survey is set to improve upon past survey research by asking more specific questions about flight operations and flight times, investigating the adoption and maturity of enterprise and/or public agency drone programs, and diving into users preferred method of geo-referencing maps.

Supported by DJI, DroneDeploy,, and Trimble, the research is set to explore topics like how and why operators and users are deploying drones now, but also how/why they plan to grow their use in the future. It will also provide baseline statistics for market share among the brands as well as information about the size of service providers, enterprises, and businesses that have drone programs.

It’s easy to get excited about the billions of dollars that the technology supposedly represents, and those numbers are driven by report forecasts that have those numbers in their headlines, However, most reports forecast use but don’t survey actual users, which can make their findings suspect, at best. The fact that Skylogic Research will be talking with real users to determine things like actual drone and drone data usage is just one of the things that makes their research distinct though.

“We’re now tracking 79 firms that offer drone market reports or forecasts,” Snow told Commercial UAV News. “The increase seems to have slowed down a bit this year, but these firms are still pumping out new reports that are highly speculative and have no real data to support their predictions. Our survey results and research report on the back end will fill a gap in knowledge and understanding of the commercial drone industry.”

Any individuals or organizations who have purchased a drone in the past 12 months for any reason are encouraged to take the survey. Commercial drone service providers as well as businesses, enterprises, and public agencies that perform drone-based operations are also encouraged to take part in the survey.

As an incentive for participation, you’ll have the opportunity to receive a free summary report of the research results and also win a free DJI Spark mini drone package (a $425 value) or one of two $100 VISA gift cards.

Individuals, companies, enterprises, and public agencies can take the survey here.