1. Start

To begin, click on any one of the main features. If you have selected a feature besides Demographic Analysis, you will then need to enter your city and industry. When entering your industry, type in the first few characters and then select the closest matching industry from the dropdown box that appears.

When entering your city, you may only search for communities in your surrounding area. You can alternately click in the input box to scroll through a list of all possible cities that you may select from.

If you select Demographic Analysis, you can choose to see a report for around an address, for a custom boundary, or for a place. You can also choose your report type: Demographic Overview, Consumer Expenditures, or Labor Force.

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2. Main Features

A. Business & Industry Analysis

You will see a dashboard, with each row of the dashboard corresponding to one of the many reports available. To access a report, simply input the value for your business and click “Run Report”. All of your information is confidential and safe. For more information how we protect your privacy, view our privacy policy. Your business will be compared against all others in your unique industry. As the report expands, the “Run Report” button will be replaced with a gauge that indicates how your business compares to the competition, running from red (poor) to green (excellent). You can hover over the gauge to see the exact statistics displayed on the gauge. Once you have run a report, you can also click on the arrow on the far right side to contract or expand it.

Alternately, you can use the “Summary” button on the bottom of the dashboard to contract all of the reports at once and view a summary dashboard that displays the gauges for all your reports on one screen.

The bar charts and tables let you easily benchmark yourself against all other competitors in your city, county, metro, state, or the nation. For many of the reports, you can switch back and forth to view this information in tabular format or chart format based on your preference.

In addition to charts and tables, we also provide information in the form of a heatmap, where in red are the areas that have the highest value, and in yellow are areas where the value is less. Below is an example of a heatmap of average annual revenue. The areas that have higher average annual revenue may be places where you want to target your next advertising campaign or open up future business locations. By default, the map shows you the closest level for which data is available. Using the +/- buttons on the upper left corner of the map, you can zoom out to get a broad- er view of your area. If you zoom out far enough, the units of the heatmap will switch to larger geographic units such as counties or states.

On the bottom of each report, we’ve also added Considerations and Resources to help your business use the information in the reports to make concrete decisions. In some cases, you will be prompted in the Considerations section to tell us a little more about your business, such as whether you are a startup or an established business. Choosing one or the other will display an additional set of considerations customized to your particular business type.

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B. Competitive Intelligence

You will see a map of the competing businesses in your industry. Links on the top of the page and below the name of your industry ask you if you compete with businesses in other industries, sell to other businesses, or buy from other businesses. Click on any that apply to you.

If you sell to businesses, we can help you find areas where there are a lot of customers but little competition. Once you have entered in the industries you sell to you will be able to see your customers in green as well as your competitors in red. Try to pinpoint the areas where there is a lot of green, indicating many customers, but not much red, indicating many competitors. Alternatively, if you have the type of business where customers tend to come to a specific place for goods or services, such as the area near a hospital if they are looking for medical services, or an auto- mall if they want to perform comparative shopping, the areas with high concentrations of red may be best for your company.

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C. Advertising Analysis

By default, you will be shown the areas with the highest total annual revenue for your industry. Maybe you’re looking for a different opportunity and you want to instead find the areas that are most underserved, have the highest revenue per capita, or have the highest household income. You can access these report options by clicking on the drop-down arrow above the map.

If you want to narrow your target market down even further, click the “+” button, which will allow you to manipulate a variety of de- mographic and business filters. Let’s say you’re targeting high income households. Or perhaps you want to find a nearby neighborhood that’s underserved by doctors and has an elderly popula- tion. With our custom filters, you can do that and more.

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D. Demographic Analysis

The demographics report will show you a map of your location on top and the demographic report beneath. When you scroll down, the map will stay in position.

Clicking the “eye” next to any variable will present it as a heatmap. On the map itself, you can switch to view percentages rather than totals for demographic and labor force reports, or if you are on a consumer expenditure report, you can switch to map out average household spending as opposed to total spending.

Clicking the chart next to a variable will hide the map to show a chart of the information. If you would like to see the map again, click the link below the chart to hide it.

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3. Modifying Your Selection

Your city and industry selections are always shown on the left side of the screen. If you would like to change them, simply click the “Modify” button.

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4. Site Navigation

At any time, you can click the home icon on the upper left hand corner of the screen to be taken back to the start page. You can also navigate to each one of the features by clicking the icon for that feature on the upper right of the screen.

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5. Frequently Asked Questions

What does the local business intelligence tool do and who is it meant to help?

The local business intelligence tool helps small and medium-sized business owners make intelligent decisions to grow their businesses.

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Where does the data come from?

Business data comes from hundreds of data sources including IRS records, county courthouse filings, Yellow Pages and White Pages, business publications, the U.S. Postal Service, and corporate annual reports, which are manually reviewed and maintained. The data is verified through over 25 million phone calls each year by third-party researchers and is constantly updated, which means the competitiveness ranking of businesses is recalculated with every update. This business data is similar to and includes the type of data used by the majority of the Fortune 100 companies, the most used search engines, and even GPS-based auto navigation systems.

Demographic, labor force, consumer, education, innovation, occupation, transportation, environmental, incentive, and entrepreneurship data comes from a wide range of public and private data sources including, but not limited to, the US Census, United States Postal Service, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Census Bureau estimates, Bureau of Economic Analysis, Medicare statistics, Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Federal Aviation Office, US Environmental Protection Agency, US Department of Housing and Urban Development, ZoomProspector.com, GIS Planning Inc., and commercial data providers. Data is updated on a varying schedule depending on the dataset. Demographic data includes current year projections using proprietary data for most data points.

Because much of the data provided by public sources is not updated frequently enough to make real-time business decisions (such as the US Census), data is projected to the present-year using proprietary methods. The methodology follows rigorous quantitative analysis standards which follow best practices in statistics, economics, demography, geography, corporate site selection, and economic development. In addition, we use our proprietary methodology for analyzing information from all of the datasets.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data comes from a variety of sources. The base map data is provided through Google Maps and its data vendors. However, for business decision success, companies need a much higher level of geographic data accuracy, robustness, and information than is currently provided on any of the major search engine map websites. We overlay this needed business, demographic, and other geo-referenced community characteristics over Google Maps. In addition, local governments have extremely accurate geographic layers of data which is relevant for businesses and can save/make businesses a lot of money in better decision making and time-savings, but this data has been locked away in the computers of government engineers.

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What industries are included?

Information is included on thousands of industries. To be included, an industry must be one in which the typical business produces revenue. This excludes many industries primarily funded by government and religious institutions. Industries included must also comprise at least 1,000 businesses nationwide.

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What do the graphs mean?

There are a variety of charts and graphs created for you. One of the most common is a chart that compares your business to the performance of similar businesses in your industry located in your same city, county, metro, and state compared to the nation. You can use this graph to compare your business to how similar businesses which compete in your industry are performing in different locations.

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Is my company's information kept confidential?

All individual information you submit to evaluate the competitiveness of your company is kept completely confidential and is only for your use. For more information about this please see our Privacy Policy.

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