The Lebhar-Friedman publications include Chain Store Age, Drug Store News, Home Channel News, Nations Restaurants News and DSNRetailing Today. These publications are searched nightly by MetaCarta and then geographically indexed. Other information feeds can be added as well.
SRC has moved the bar up considerably, as the company has combined the use of location intelligence, business intelligence and the use of competitive intelligence into a single analytical workflow for retailers.
Two key points of impact. The ability to search and retrieve articles geographically expands the access to information in an easy to use manner. In addition, a search on new information in proximity to a prospective target location can be performed (e.g. providing new information about local objections to a proposed Wal-Mart or a fast food drive-through; or perhaps a competitor has announced they are entering the market). The time to executive this type of analysis is reduced from days and hours to minutes.
The second key point is to the ability to seamlessly perform financial analysis that can be included as part of the entire site package for management review.
Geographic searches can also be performed using the SRC Guzzler drive time engine to establish the core geography. The engine uses the road network to return a drive time polygon. SRC claims to provide a 20 to 30 percent more accurate polygon than non-network based engines.
How it works
The DemographicsNow interface gives users access to the demographics and allows them certain functionality such as displaying data with address matching. Once the geographic region of interest is defined, uses may select either an article search or financial analysis. As a test, I selected to perform an article search for an area in California using 15-minute drive time to define the region of interest. (See Figure 1)
The MetaCarta engine asks the user to define the search criteria. In this case, I am looking for an article that contains "pizza." The search can be refined in several ways including a time slice: begin date, end date, etc., or a location slice: city, county, state, etc. (Figure 2)
This search has returned these articles.
You can read an article summary or the entire article. Articles with identifiable geographic references or descriptions can be displayed on a map. In this case, "pizza" has been searched on a wider geography and you can see the returns from the white icon on the Kentucky, Indiana border. (Figure 4)
A typical article summary might look like Figure 5.
The full article is also available. (Figure 6)
If the user wants to perform financial analysis on the location previously selected in California, that choice is available from the same user interface.
Financial analyses can be as simple as the list below, or contain rent rolls as in shopping center or other collectives of retail space. Charts and graphs are also available.
When completed, the results can be imported to the DemographicsNow Express Package and printed out as a PDF file. It will be interesting to see how the industry responds.