21 Mar Seeing Change Brings Opportunity: Vineyard, UT
Vineyard, Utah, an area just outside of Provo, was once a sleepy little area made up of farmland and a shuttered steel mill. According to the U.S. Census, Vineyard has grown from 611 residents in to almost 4,000 in 2016. But those estimates fall woefully short of the significant growth in Vineyard.
MicroBuild, a patented geospatial and location intelligence data set, shows the number of households in Vineyard to have almost doubled in just the past two years.
Looking back even further to the 2010 Census, MicroBuild shows almost 5x the number of households in 2016 as were present in 2010. And, perhaps even more importantly, the upcoming release of MicroBuild will show over 30% household growth over the previous year’s data set!
Can you see this with your data?
In the Utah Valley, where the growing high-tech community is creating one of the highest job-growth areas in the nation, land for new development is scarce. With mountains all around and Utah Lake to the west, Geneva Steel Mill’s industrial site’s 1,600 acres has become a hot spot of commercial and residential development. The area became central to a multi-purpose Master Plan in 2014, and is expected to help Vineyard grow to 40,000 residents in the coming years. When development is complete, Vineyard expects to have 3 million square feet of office space, 2 million square feet of retail space and 5.5 million square feet of industrial space.
Significant population increases in places like Vineyard drive the need for a growth in services and commercial storefronts. Services, such as housing, transportation, utilities, education and health care are needed for these new inhabitants. Commercial storefronts such as banks, retail and restaurants are also needed for the growing community. Not only is Vineyard growing, but it is also bringing a younger and more diverse consumer to the area. The need for businesses to better assess, respond and serve these residents is a challenge.
Note that in the one-mile study area example above, MicroBuild recognizes over 400 additional households that Census-based data sets do not see. As only one of many examples, convenience store developers, owners and operators who rely on Census-based data would not recognize or factor the additional 400 households into their sales and revenue forecasts. Therefore, their building prototype would be less than optimal for the number of households represented in this market.
Today, companies providing products and services depend on geospatial and location intelligence platforms to identify growth areas. These companies are well positioned to take advantage of the surplus of need in a booming community simply because they can identify and pinpoint where and how to invest. However, many of these companies rely on data sources that are based on estimates and projections, and are therefore will not see what’s happening on the ground in high-change areas such as Vineyard. They are at a significant disadvantage because by the time their data provider catches up with growth in an area, the change has already occurred and the opportunity lost.
MicroBuild data is compiled from address-level sources, meaning MicroBuild household data isn’t subject to the lag of slow-updating data compilers or the guesswork of projected population changes. In the case of Vineyard, MicroBuild quickly informs users of the rapid shift in household changes brought on by new commercial and residential development. MicroBuild can because it’s built from the “ground up” to the aggregate, meaning it is built by aggregating individual consumer household and address data points and not subject to the skewed guessing which plagues other data providers.
It’s the Data that Drives Business Decisions
The geospatial data source that most geospatial platforms employ is U.S. Census data – last completed in 2010. Although the U.S. Census Bureau developed the American Community Survey (ACS) to try and keep up with the changes that occur in the population during the ten-year period between Census surveys, the ACS surveys only 3.54 million U.S. addresses each year, about 2.5% of the addresses across the country. It is therefore impossible for Census-based data sets to reflect the impact of change and the opportunities afforded in high-change locations: re-purposing of industrial brownfield sites, greenfield development, gentrification and urban renewal and revitalization programs – key indicators for executive decision makers.
In fact, the U.S. Census probably says it best:
“Where characteristics such as age, income, length of residence, or ethnicity are involved, private sector products built from consumer household databases might be preferred as a means to target individual block groups or individual households. The effects of these difference may be the largest for the small area (micro-level) data that are common to business applications.”
U.S. Census Bureau, A Compass for Understanding and Using American Community Survey Data: What the Business Community Needs to Know. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington DC, 2008, p2.
Mapping software has evolved significantly in recent years. It is now easier than ever for analysts to generate attractive maps and comprehensive reports. However, regardless of their aesthetics, ease of use or advanced features, the usable value of geospatial mapping applications is dependent on the quality of the data that underpins the application. It is the data that defines the intelligence in Location Intelligence. Only when geospatial applications use the most current, accurate and precise geospatial data will the results reflect what’s really happening on the ground.
Your map may be pretty but does your map tell you the right story?
Back in the late 1990’s when companies were just beginning to use advanced analytic and optimization tools, they discovered that even though they had the most advanced analytic and optimization tools available, they employed and trained best engineers, and deployed the best technology, it really came down to one thing that most impacted the usable value of the tool: DATA.
Data was, is and always will be the most fundamental element in any advanced tool or application – it underpins every decision today’s executives make. It may not be the sexiest tool in the analytic toolbox, but it is there nonetheless, quietly driving site analytics and producing sales forecasts. Not knowing the purpose, nature, source or impact of the data interjects unknown risks into any project or business decision, significantly impacting the usable value of expensive advanced analytic solutions.
So, if you’re ready to learn more about MicroBuild, CLICK HERE and check out the Vineyard Geospatial Data Study. Vineyard is just one of over 500 places across the U.S. where MicroBuild sees what’s truly happening on the ground. Census may catch up a bit in 2020, but…
… what opportunities will you miss if you wait until then?