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Exploring Site Selection Data Categories


When it comes to making informed decisions about where to establish or expand your business, site selection is a critical process. The location you choose can significantly impact your success. In this article, we'll delve into the key criteria and data categories that play a pivotal role in site selection. 

Site Selection Data Categories

In today's digital age, data plays a pivotal role in site selection. Access to the right information can make or break your decision. Here are the key data categories to consider:

  1. Census Data: Government census data, such as that provided by the U.S. Census Bureau in the United States, offers valuable demographic information, including population size, age distribution, income levels, education, and more. This data can help you understand the local labor pool and consumer base.

  2. GIS (Geographic Information Systems): GIS platforms like Esri and open-source options like QGIS provide detailed geographic and spatial data. You can access information about land use, infrastructure, zoning regulations, and more. GIS allows you to create custom maps and analyze spatial relationships.

  3. Economic Development Agencies: Local and regional economic development agencies often provide data and resources to attract businesses. They can offer insights into incentives, workforce development, and business climate in specific areas.

  4. Real Estate Listings and Brokers: Commercial real estate listings and brokerage firms provide data on available properties, including price, size, location, and potential for development. Websites like LoopNet and CoStar are useful for property searches.

  5. Labor Market Information: State and national labor departments publish data on workforce statistics, including unemployment rates, wage levels, and industry-specific employment trends. This information helps assess the availability and cost of labor.

  6. Transportation and Infrastructure Data: Access data on transportation networks, including highways, railways, ports, and airports. Consider sources like the U.S. Department of Transportation or local transportation authorities for comprehensive information.

  7. Environmental Data: Environmental agencies provide data on factors like air quality, water quality, and soil conditions. This information is crucial for assessing potential environmental risks and regulatory compliance.

  8. Market Research Firms: Market research companies like Nielsen, IHS Markit, and IBISWorld offer industry-specific data, consumer behavior insights, and market trends that can help you understand the market potential in a given area.

  9. Local Business Organizations: Chambers of Commerce and industry-specific associations can provide valuable insights, networking opportunities, and local market knowledge.

  10. Competitor Analysis: Analyzing your competitors' locations and market presence can provide insights into successful site selection strategies.

  11. Online Mapping and Data Visualization Tools: Tools like Google Maps, Tableau, and Power BI can help you create interactive maps and visualize data for better decision-making.

  12. Social and Cultural Data: Understanding the social and cultural aspects of a community is essential for retail businesses. You can access data on cultural demographics, lifestyle preferences, and consumer behavior through various research firms and surveys.

  13. Government Planning Departments: Local planning departments can provide information on zoning regulations, land use plans, and permitting processes, which are critical for site selection.

  14. Utility Companies: Utility providers can supply information on the availability and cost of essential services such as water, electricity, and natural gas.

  15. Reviews from Local Businesses: Data sources like the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Census Bureau can provide a nice view into the specifics of a region, but don’t rely on that alone. Reading reviews from company executives about the business climate in a state you’re considering can provide a peer’s view into the economic ecosystem of that city. You can read verified reviews on Scout here.

Site selection is a multifaceted process that requires careful consideration of these factors and data sources. Whether you're starting a new venture or expanding an existing one, making informed decisions about your business location is paramount to your success. Stay tuned for more insights into optimizing your site selection process.