Demographic data is statistical information regarding a certain population, such as age, gender, race, and location. Companies often use it as a customer segmentation and marketing tool.
This data comes from a few different places. First are surveys, though these can have low response rates and are not fit to describe large sample sizes. Second are technological solutions, such as Google Analytics. These programs document information like a user’s location, language preferences, and more.
You can also enrich this data with insights from cookies or event tracking. You should find this method more scalable, especially as it can be updated almost in real-time, despite limits imposed by privacy restrictions.
Finally, you can collect demographic data from public records like censuses and administrative records.
Typical attributes of demographic data include financial data (income, net worth, home value), gender, lifestyle data (hobbies and product ownership), geographic data, and life-stage data (age, marital status, number and age of children).
Demographic data typically expresses these characteristics as statistics and percentages of a population.
You can use demographic data to segment consumers for marketers to create relevant marketing strategies to target audiences, generating greater lead conversion and revenue. You can also identify key audience segments in an industry to determine audience desires. Finally, you can use insights generated by demographic information to develop and market new products.
One problem with the collection of this data is the difficulty of finding databases which are both current and reliable. As mentioned earlier, manual collection like surveys can quickly become outdated, even when they overcome the challenge of the low response rates. Online collection of demographic data, on the other hand, is often limited by privacy restrictions.
Therefore, consider the time of collection: even data collected a mere two years ago may contain outdated addresses, marital statuses, income, and more.
Secondly, consider the source of the data. You should always check external vendors’ reputation in the market. It is also good to request an historical data sample.
Finally, consider whether the data you seek fits your specific field and is large enough to be accurate and relevant to your needs. Understanding the process of data collection will help.
“Decision-makers in central and local government increasingly need better local data on the size and characteristics of their population to build better services, transport links, schools, hospitals, adult social care and housing. They need to understand the changing dynamics of the population nationally and locally so they can make the best decisions possible from that evidence.”
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