How Location Data Answers Different Questions


DEMOGRAPHIC DATA ON INDIVIDUALS AND BUSINESSES HAVE been around for a long time. Data companies like Info- group collect publicly available data from millions of records, update it monthly and add their own algorithms and models to deliver a data product that helps businesses and governments make informed decisions. Infogroup went one step further and made all of its data
location-based so that it is now easily searchable based on specific geographic areas of interest.

Demographic data is valuable beyond simply targeting consumers for direct mail campaigns. Public agencies and economic development organizations use business and residential information as benchmarks to develop plans and to model expansion and growth. “A lot of information is used for transportation planning, urban planning, economic development, public health, and law enforcement. Where people live, who the top employers are, size of businesses and specific industry types, are critical pieces of information for public entities,” said Allan Benek, Vice President Government Services for Infogroup. “Hundreds of federal, state and local government agencies rely on this data each and every day.”

From an emergency management perspective, it is important to know how many people are working in particular buildings, or how many people are at a particular residence in the evening. Understanding the types of industries in an area is important as well. Is there a volatile or toxic chemical impact possibility? Is there a general office building with hundreds of employees at a specific location?
This information has a direct impact on the plan for evacuation. Compare the use of this same information for site location analysis for a new restaurant. From a restaurant perspective, it is important to know the type of diner that is within the area—business lunch crowd or student lunch crowd, for example.
Environmental compliance and waste disposal programs require an understanding of the chemicals being used by certain companies. For example, where are the local car engine oil changing services, dry cleaners or offset ink print shops located? When researching businesses in an area, industry classification data may signal a business in need of inspection. This type of location data aids in regulatory and compliance research.

Have you ever wondered how states identify new lottery distributors? Or how the need for a new turn lane and traffic signal is determined?

Demographic data is about so much more than marketing and advertising. It’s about economic development, public health, and safety and transportation.