Sunday, July 15, 2012

Visualising census data on maps

2011 Census of Population and Housing data was officially released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in late June 2011. Data is freely accessible on ABS site however, it is rather difficult to work with numeric tables alone to determine distribution of people with specific characteristics. Knowing geographic location of groups of interest can be invaluable in decision making for all variety of users: governments, businesses as well as individuals.

TableBuilder Basic, a free mapping application from ABS, will be released in August 2012 but you can start mapping and analysing of Census data right away: has just launched a free tool that enables creation of custom thematic maps with 70+ census data items from the Basic Community Profile. Below are just a few examples of what is available and how this information can be put to use.

Case 1: Locating areas with the greatest purchasing power

Personal incomes are indicative of propensity to spend so, areas with high median weekly income would be a primary target to concentrate promotional activities on if you want to attract customers for luxury items or high value investment products.

Case 2: Locating ethnic niches

Ethnicity related data can be used by various government departments delivering social services to profile their local customers in order, for example, to determine the need for personnel with specific language skills and/or adequate training to deal properly with cultural differences.

Case 3: Estimating market potential

Census data will help in determining if there is enough potential customers in a given location to support a business. For example, if you provide goods or services for infants and toddlers you would need to know how many are there in your catchment area.  

Case 4: Benchmarking investment performance

Property investors can take advantage of Census data related to housing. For example, median weekly rent statistics can help in determining whether their rental income is keeping up with the changes in the local market or not.

Explore the full set of data on Census 2011 Online Maps app.

Related Posts:
Census 2011 Online Maps User Guide
Mapping Australian social diversity
How maps can improve sales
Maps and property investment
Reference Maps for Fusion Tables

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