Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The One Thing Your Company is Missing in Innovation

Proposed Retail. Thor Equities Building Wrap, New York City
Demographic data. Data, data, data.
Please. Wait. Don't run away.
I know, just the words 'demographic data' fill you with fear and loathing. You picture reams of data in boring spreadsheets. I can relate. In the course of my career, I have dug for data on Census.gov and requested trend data from countless other sources. I have sorted and analyzed it any number of ways. I can be the long and lonely work in vetting the viability of a company, a product or determining which markets to enter.

Now for the good news. Finding and sorting data has never been easier. Technology now allows us to have nearly limitless data points to pull from. Granted, you still have to have the skill (or hire the expertise) to identify what is valuable, and extrapolate how the information relates to your product or service. How you can use it to create positioning, naming and branding that will resonate. Determining where you will locate your restaurants or retail locations, and what sales you might expect.

Demographic data has also never been more important. In the hyper competitive marketplace of today, it is the smart products aligned with the smart marketers drawn to the right places that win.

That is why I wanted to highlight a site that offers some incredible data. I recently discovered it through and article in The Atlantic highlighting age distribution disparities between metro areas. But the data has much more depth than that.
The Urban Institute has long offered great data insights through their MetroTrends portal.
Now they have also launched a new Metropolitan Area Data Dashboard that offers a really great array of data from jobs to age distribution. It also offers maps of each metro area with the data shown on a simple map (see below).

I look forward to using this tool for clients to help them further understand their marketplace and the marketplace of the future. That is what we do and what all businesses should be doing.

I would like to hear from our readers as well.
Where do you go for relevant data?



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