Friday, February 19, 2010

[FIND] Lexicon - Snapshot Demographics

Redefining the term: think portraiture in a world of snapshots.

Several demographic data providers offer what they call “snapshot demographics,” a quick glance at the demographic profile for a predefined area. These demographic profiles include very basic information gleaned from U. S. Census data, maybe augmented with proprietary projections. You’ll see variations on the 1/3/5 mile rings around a specific point, a set 25-mile radius, or maybe even a defined neighborhood. The data includes population, households, population by race, % owned, % rented, and some level of data relating to income.

The website offers a demographic analysis tool they actually call “snapshot demographics.” It’s a tool that distills the data down to two vital data points: median income and population.

For broad-brush analysis, these tools are excellent to get a developer started--a way to quickly identify areas that meet their criteria, areas that fit within their investment parameters. But what if there’s no neat, two-data-point indicator for a specific property? What if an investor knows, through experience, that a specific district within a broader neighborhood, despite the indications of the demographic profile, is ripe for development? What if a business owner wants to put a boutique retail store in a spot that, left to the auto-generated demographic profilers, doesn’t appear to meet their investment parameters?

Our answer: [FIND] demographics, portraiture in a world of snapshots. Not to keep beating the analog horse, but let’s ride this one a little further. Think of a snapshot of you. A picture that someone took of you…I don’t know… Maybe you just finished flipping burgers over a hot grill, just got out of the water at the triathlon, you look tired, sweaty, worn out, beat up. The light is bad, your face is shadowed, and your love handles are a bit too visible. Would you want anyone to base their opinion of you on that one picture?

Now think of a picture taken by a professional photographer. NO…not glamor shots, but a true professional photo taken by someone who spends the time to know you, to capture your personality. The lighting is painstakingly arranged, the film is carefully selected, and the clothes you choose are your favorite and best fitting. The picture is…well, it’s a picture of you.

In the lexicon of [FIND] Investigations, snapshot demographics is more akin to the latter. While we don’t set design and hand-pick the demographic indicators, we do take the time to observe, document, and analyze a specific location. We get to know the place, study it, provide you with a focused, street-level, clear picture of the demographic make-up. Of course we’ll gather the requisite Census level data, information freely available to anyone with a half-assed connection to the internet. We will also provide you with a detailed profile of the neighborhood (maps, graphics, growth trends, real estate value trends, etc.), a thoroughly documented profile of the people who visit the area as a point of destination (whence the customers come, where they live, how far they drive, what they drive, etc.), and detailed real-world information on competition within the neighborhood as well as competition from similar businesses in other (similar) areas.

In short, [FIND] Investigations' version of snapshot demographics is a detailed portrait of a specific place. We provide clarity.

[FIND] Demographics: Portraiture in a world of snapshots.


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