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Location intelligence is a term used to describe the various types of data that go into making an assessment of the viability of a given geographical location to generate specific types of outcomes in terms of a business operation or investment. Intelligence of this type will include a wide range of demographic data, such as the age and makeup of the population in the area, income levels, and even the ease of access to a business that is established at a specific location. Engaging in market research of this type before choosing to open a business at a specific site can often make the difference between earning a considerable profit and experiencing a complete failure of the business enterprise.
When gathering location intelligence, the nature of the business will often help set the criteria for what type of data must be gathered in order to make a reasonable assessment of the proposed site for the business. For example, a retailer would be interested in getting an idea of how many people live or work within a certain range of the site, as this would provide some idea of the number of potential customers. At the same time, consideration of how easily those customers could access the business would also be very important. Competition by similar businesses in the area is also something that is considered important as part of gathering location intelligence. For example, a coffee shop may find that locating at a site near office buildings or a college campus may be a good decision, assuming that the area does not already include two or three other coffee shops that adequately meet the demand by customers.
Using location intelligence to determine if a given site provides the amenities needed for the business to be successful is a common strategy. A restaurant that is thinking of opening a location in a downtown area will determine if there is sufficient parking nearby that make it easy to for customers to get to and from the establishment. A car rental company may focus more on sites that are closer to airports than residential neighborhoods. Bakeries may seek a location that is ideal for people to stop in and make purchases going to or from work. The idea with location intelligence is to consider all relevant factors and decide if a given site will in fact increase the chances of maintaining success for an extended period of time.
Location intelligence does not just occur before a business selects a site. The general strategy of collecting data is ongoing, both in evaluating the continued viability of remaining at that location or moving to another site due to shifts in the demographics of that original site. In this manner, business owners use the collected intelligence to determine if and when a move is necessary to enhance the profitability of the business and continue to reach its target audience of consumers.
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