By Dixie Malone, Business Specialist Librarian, Reference Services, Central Denver Public Library & CWCC Member
Whether or not you loved, or even understood, “2001, A Space Odyssey,” Arthur C. Clarke came down to earth with the rest of us when he said that “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Business Decision, a database on the Denver Public Library website, is free to anyone who has a Denver Public Library card, and produces the same sort of magical experience. In addition, that same magic modern technology makes it possible to use the database remotely from wherever there is a computer with Internet access.
Business Decision can be an amazing resource when looking at the demographics and market segmentation of all kinds of geographically defined areas. Need to know how many people over 20 years of age live within two miles or 20 minutes away from your business? Business decision can tell you within seconds. Need a map of the highest percentage of which types of consumers live in a specified zip code? That is also only a few seconds away with a simple search.
Where does this “magic” come from? In this case it comes from sophisticated methodology (technology’s BFF). The market segmentation information in this database was developed by ESRI Business Information Solutions. Using traditional cluster analysis along with the latest data mining techniques, ESRI builds data to define market segments. They then link market segments to the latest consumer survey data for verification. Further discussion about the methodology, including a one page description of each of the market segments (65 in all), is available in the 95 page “Community Tapestry Handbook,” available free for download from the Denver Public Library website. Here you will discover what characteristics differentiate “Laptops and Lattes” (Segment 08) from the “Young and Restless” (Segment 39) and the “City Strivers” (Segment 45).
Work magic for your business by learning more about customer profiling, media targeting, direct mail, and site analysis by going to www.denverlibrary.org. Follow this path: click on “Research,” click on “Business,” then click on ”Business Decision.” Need assistance? Call our Reference Services Department during Library hours at 720-865-1363.