I realized a few days ago that I didn’t write a a post about why I launched this blog. So I’ll take this opportunity to write about why this blog was created and what you will get out of it.
In my professional life I work with people and organizations who are looking for data to beef up their grants, reports and business plans. Either they are in the process of starting a business/grant writing or they already have a plan in place and need to fine-tune it. This is where I come in and educate them on the types of data that are available for them. I always steer clients towards free data as there is a plethora of them waiting to be used.
So this blog will be a stage to showcase what I have used in the past and what I discover during my own research. I’ll discuss government data, business data and GIS/mapping resources that I think will be beneficial for the public to be aware of. So bookmark my site and sign-up for updates, you won’t want to miss a post!
One crucial part of a business plan or a grant is the section on who your potential customer base/client base is. This information is vital to your bottom line whether you’re reaching out for funding or pricing your services to customers.
Why spend a ton of money having someone else crunch numbers and send you a report that you can create on your own for little to no money. How so? By using data that is already available. One of the most widely used sources of data on people is census data. You can get all types of stuff including income, education, languages spoken, family composition many times down to the neighborhood level. Sometimes it does take a little work to understand what you are looking at but I guarantee that the info that you find will be very eye-opening. Imagine you want to know the income level of an area because you are thinking about opening a business or want to get funding for a grant to help children receive after school tutoring. Demographic data can help you find the best place to serve your community or open your business.
Here are some websites that you can peruse to see what data is available.
US Census Bureau: http://www.census.gov
Statistics Canada: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/start-debut-eng.html
United Kingdom Office for National Statistics: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/index.html
Mexico Census (site is in Spanish): http://www.inegi.org.mx/
Showing that you have really done your homework can make your proposition stand our from among the crowd. And with all the competition out there who doesn’t want any advantage they can get?