Q&A with Robert Welch, President of Synergos Technologies Regarding STI: PopStats

By Nora Parker

_Austin-based Synergos Technologies releases updated population statistics (STI: PopStats) quarterly. We were interested in finding out more about who finds value in frequently updated population stats and contacted the company's president, Robert Welch, to find out more.

Nora Parker (NP): Why is having quarterly updated population information important to retailers? Can you provide examples of the value of STI: PopStats' quarterly data?

Robert Welch (RW): In the business world, operational analysis such as financial review is typically performed on a quarterly basis.It makes sense to translate this quarterly review process into other areas of business, including market research, where decision makers also need timely information to make informed business decisions.

Indeed, the quarterly nature of STI: PopStats has created an interesting and important by-product for the retail industry: the ability to conduct trend analysis at the neighborhood level.With quarterly estimates, market researchers can factually understand the true nature of growth and decline in markets, because past trends are not always an indication of future population estimates.For example, a neighborhood may appear on the surface to be growing, but an in-depth analysis using quarterly data may reveal that although the population is growing, it is growing at a declining rate. This fact can have significant implications on both selecting new locations and making decisions on existing locations.

NP: How are the quarterly updates of STI: PopStats performed?

RW: Part of Synergos Technologies' expertise is the creation of automated geographic information and data management systems.As a result, the process of performing quarterly population estimates through STI: PopStats is a completely automated process.The system automatically receives the relevant consumer data feeds, analyzes the data using heuristic models based on probability theory and performs the population estimates.In fact, STI: PopStats' process is so fully automated that monthly population estimates could be created with no additional effort.

NP: What is the source of the transient population?

RW: The latest release of STI: PopStats (release 16) included new data on transient populations created using Synergos Technologies' unique proprietary source of information, on which we've been working for the past three years.The introduction of this new data is one example of many new data variables regularly added to the product; and it's the continuation of our driving philosophy of giving retailers in all industry segments the most relevant and innovative consumer information available today.For example, restaurants not only need to know how many people live and work in an area, but also people who need their product the most and that is travelers who would be residing in a hotel or RV park.We created a unique way to bring them this valuable information.Other additional data variables in past releases have include: housing values, household types, and metrics like our proprietary growth stability index.In fact we are in the process of finalizing our 2006 plan for additional new data variables.

NP: Can you tell our readers briefly about Synergos Technologies?

RW: In the past 13 years, Synergos Technologies has supplied many of today's leading marketed-focused companies with innovative technology and data tools to more precisely target their markets and consumers.In 2001, the company successfully expanded into population estimates with the release of STI: PopStats.This unique product was created in response to retailers' demand for a more timely, precise and results-focused population-estimating product.Today many leading retailers are using Synergos Technologies' products and, as a result, are achieving better market targeting results than ever before.

NP: What other data products do you provide?
RW: Since launching STI: PopStats in 2001, Synergos Technologies has introduced three complementary population estimating products.
  • STI: Workplace uses non-traditional workplace data sources and a bottom-up analytic methodology to create the most accurate workplace estimates available today.The product adds considerable added value to traditional workplace market segmentation by estimating not just how many people work in a particular market segment, but also their occupations and incomes.
  • STI: Landscape precisely targets retailers' customers, identifies where they live, and reveals their attitudinal attributes - including everything from their physical activity levels to their propensity to purchase the latest technologies.It even indexes very unique lifestyles like the 'gay' lifestyle.
  • STI: Spending Patterns is based on the most up-to-date consumer spending data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Synergos Technologies data modeling methodology.It reveals what consumers are buying in specific geographic areas, how much they are spending in specific product and service categories, and what they have the propensity to spend in the future.

Published Tuesday, July 12th, 2005

Written by Nora Parker

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