Census data is very useful to governments and charities, but how about businesses? If you’re a small business owner looking for an edge over the competition without having to beak the brank, census data will hold a lot of promise for you.
What You Should Know to Begin With
A is a process of collecting, compiling, analyzing, evaluating, and disseminating statistical data regarding a population, its territorial spread, socio-demographic and professional structures, and the socio-economic specificity of households and their families (including their resources and dwelling conditions), at all levels of the country’s territorial divisions. Censuses are conducted periodically—at least once a decade in most countries of the world.
A national census typically uses one of two methods:
- De facto: the enumeration of individuals according to where they are found, irrespective of their normal place of residence.
- De jure: the enumeration of individuals based on where they usually reside, regardless of where they are on census day.
A census’s goal is a complete and accurate count of all persons or entities (which may be businesses) living within a geographical area, including the homeless and those living in groups, e.g., in colleges, medical, and correctional facilities.
Censuses historically began as the only method of national demographic data collection. Although they are now a part of an extensive system of surveys and statistical methods, the census still provides the most detailed and reliable database for collecting and presenting national demographic information at national levels.
Why Is The Census Count So Important?
The first known census was taken by , nearly 6000 years ago. Records suggest that people, livestock, and farm produce were counted. In the 19th century, censuses involved the use of paper documents collated by hand, resulting in the provision of statistical information that was just enough to measure population changes and apportion representation for different states in the country.
By the beginning of the 20th century, censuses had begun to record households and their employments and compare population estimates with other countries. But the data obtained was still only accessible to large government departments.
Nowadays, census data represents the backbone of the democratic system of government. Results are now published in several formats and made accessible to the government and media, researchers, charities, students, businesses, and all other interested citizens. This means that several public and private sectors’ decisions can now be made based on the census data.
Amongst the most crucial decisions, a census data informs is the to different regions in a state. Another is the determination of how much federal funding communities receive for infrastructural projects such as schools, hospitals, and emergency services, and law enforcement. This suggests that regions that are under-counted are equally under-funded. In addition to the above, census data also elicits a truckload of information necessary for:
- Community planning
- Social research
- Civil rights enforcement
- Population projection.
- Tax regulations
The Relevance of Census Data To Businesses
While census data is not primarily collected for business use, many enterprises are beginning to recognize its value. Censuses provide rich data, including population trends and growth projections. This data can prove an essential tool for businesses in ensuring strategic decision-making regarding employee hiring, product marketability, and consumer behavior, thus reducing risks and increasing returns.
Census data helps business owners everywhere (retail establishments, utility companies, banks, and other financial institutions) to obtain answers to the many questions that challenge the growth and expansion of their enterprise.
Given that the data collected in the course of a census includes the ages of the people, their income, occupations, level of education, languages spoken, etc., census data is an incredibly useful source of information for market research. By studying the population trends provided by censuses, businesses can determine whether to start, expand, or shut down in any given location.
For example: if a business obtains census statistics suggesting the presence of a majority of young children aged 1-5 within their demographic location, opening a daycare center wouldn’t be such a bad idea
If you would like to learn more about what a census is and why it matters for businesses, .
6 Ways to apply Census Data:
Discover Your Target Audience
Because the census provides data on housing and living arrangements, it can help determine if a population is filled predominantly with high, middle, or low-income earners. This can further inform business strategies such as pricing and locations.
The housing data can also help determine what skills would be largely required by members of that population. For example, there would be a need for plumbing facilities and individuals with renovating skills in an area with ancient houses.
Census data may provide information on how many similar businesses are nearby-potential partners or competitors and how much they pay their workers. This informs the decisions on hiring and competitive payroll evaluation.
It can help businesses determine how much funding their community receives, which provides a basis for evaluating the level of economic development obtainable in years to come.
A company looking to expand or open a new branch would undoubtedly search for areas with a significant supply of manual or skilled labor, information readily available via census business statistics.
Know What to Sell
Knowing the population in an area by studying the census business statistics can help a company determine the goods suited to the local customers’ preferences, so they know what products to stock their shelves with to increase returns.
Know-How to Sell
By studying business statistic sales, business owners can become enlightened on retail experiences most preferred by the community (face to face customer service, drive-throughs, or even online purchase), an insight capable of keeping them ahead of competitors.
For marketing firms and advertisers, census data will help determine a product’s marketability and eventual success.
If you are not using census data to aid in your market and industry research, you might be missing out on a great opportunity. The truth is that censuses are among the best business statistics sources and hold tremendous benefits for businesses.