The world is getting more mobile and connected. As analysts we need to go beyond knowing what types of people sleep where. We need to know where people work, shop and play. Mining social and call trace data is an emerging source of insight. We need new definitive data spines on which to build out-of-home models. At Geolytix, we are hugely excited by the new Workplace Statistics. These are the largest single innovation in the 2011 census.
All census statistics are released as open data, but getting quick, simple and comprehensive access to them can be a pain. For the residential data we chose to release a census pack as open data, and we are doing the same with the Workplace statistics. We’ve also created a comprehensive User Guide chock-full of useful tips and explanations that we hope help analysts get the most from the data. The user guide and data can be found in the Open Census Pack.
We have already used these data in three large projects ourselves. We have:
- Built robust estimates of workplace demand for products and services
- Created geo-demographic profiles of workplace postcodes just as you would for residential ones
- Developed site research models that incorporate the increasingly important click-and-collect, show-rooming and m-commerce elements
- Modelled journeys to work, including mode and station choice.
Since we released it, our residential Census pack has been downloaded over 3,000 times. I hope our workplace pack gets as much use.