Want to enhance the quality of your content? One way to do that is to include reliable, relevant, and accurate data in your content. If data is relevant and reliable, you will continue to build credibility with your audience, and your brand will continue to grow in reputation as a trusted resource.

Mark Colgan, marketing manager at The Local Data Company, has dedicated his living to helping other businesses get the most reliable data possible. Media Shower recently spoke with Mark about why that data is so valuable – and how businesses can use it once they’ve got it.

What are the primary ways that companies can use collected data to their benefit?

There are many ways that our data can be used depending on the industry and objectives of each company. However, here are five of the most common ways data is used:

1. To identify new locations to open a store (for retailers) or acquire an asset (investors). The data presents all vacant units on a map. A unit can be anything that the public can walk into and purchase a product or service. Within one click, a user can find out the health and competitiveness of that location as well as the demographics.

2. To analyze the performance of stores in certain locations. This can be against their competitors, or pertain to the environmental factors such as vacant units, footfall, and competing locations like out-of-town retail parks and shopping centers that may affect their store sales.

3. To analyze their competition. The data that is collected is extremely vast; therefore, companies can easily see where their competitors are present and where they are not. They can also see where their competitors have recently opened stores or where they are closing stores. With this information, they can make operational and strategic decisions.

4. To identify up-and-coming locations. By having the ability to view their area as a whole, retailers and landlords can quickly identify areas that are becoming more popular (or unpopular), which may present an opportunity to open a store or acquire a property ahead of their competitors.

5. To understand local trends in a regional and national context. This can help investors, landlords and retailers make better decisions when planning to invest, divest, occupy or leave.

What specific success stories about data being used to significantly improve business can you offer?

As mentioned before, context is key for any business who wants to use data to inform decisions. Here are how some businesses have used data to significantly make improvements:

1. A retail investor was able to quickly perform due diligence of potential acquisitions to understand the opportunities and threats of their investment, as well as to benchmark the investment against their existing portfolio.

2. A discount retailer was able to understand the overlap of stores in context to the wider market during pre-acquisition of another discount retailer. This insight and evidence allowed them to receive a favorable agreement from the competition’s and market’s authority.

3. Understanding the daytime and nighttime economy of locations in an area allowed one retailer to optimize their opening hours in accordance with the environment where their stores are located. They were able to realize huge savings from an operational point of view.

4. Entering a market as a new brand has its challenges. But using the vast data that we collect and analyze helped a discount fashion retailer identify up to 50 locations – and open 50 stores in 50 days.

5. Finally from an acquisitions perspective, one investor was able to quickly understand the opportunities and threats of each asset within a large and very diverse portfolio when it was considering a bid for the portfolio.

Where do you gather your information from?

The primary source of the data comes from our own field researchers who physically walk over 28,000 miles (each year) through town centers, shopping centers, and retail parks updating multiple data points through our mobile app. This data is supported by a whole team of internal researchers who track activity as it happens. This data is then synchronized with our relational database, and then checked and verified by our quality control team. This stringent quality checking process is key for any organiszation who is in the business of analyzing data.

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