How to use the latest Census

By Sarah Stowe | 29 Oct 2015 View comments

How does a business find out about its customer base to ensure it's going to hit the right market?  Demographic analysis is a valuable tool, and one way to access this is by using the latest Census of Population and Housing data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The Census is conducted every five years and the first series of the 2011 Census is released today. 

This information can be invaluable for anyone looking to open a franchise. Not only can it help with customer profiling in existing areas of operation, the socio and economic information can help reveal the best location for new franchises.

Sean Richards, director of product management at Pitney Bowes Software, said "The Census is one of the largest organised projects undertaken in Australia, involving planning and resource allocation on an overwhelming scale. Businesses should recognise the value of the census and ensure they use the data to help inform their business decisions."

So how to use it?

Effective use of census data can help to:

  1. Calculate market share and gauge competition. For example, franchisees can compare their sales to census totals for state and local areas, determine their market shares and define marketing areas and sales targets.
  2. Evaluate store locations. Retail businesses can compare their sales to local census totals for their industry, or local population and income statistics, so as to decide which locations are best for new or expanded development.
  3. Forecasting demand. Forecasting product demand requires as accurate an assessment as possible of the target audience to develop these forecasts. For example, utility companies depend on understanding population increases and working population shifts to develop long-range plans for new facilities and networks.

 Pitney Bowes software helps businesses with data analysis and location intelligence.