Geospatial analysis of census data for targeting new businesses using geoeconomics


  • Singha Sushant K.



Analytics, ArcGIS, Asian, business, California, census, geospatial, restaurants, ZCTA


Geoeconomics plays a vital role in encouraging goods and services on newmarketplaces. Selecting a “sweet-spot” for new businesses is one of the biggest challenges fornew entrepreneurs, enterprises, and investors, especially in the restaurant industry. This paperaims to present a novel geospatial methodological approach for new businesses using censusdata to answer an important business question: Where I should start my new Asian cuisinerestaurant? State and zip code tabulation area (ZCTA) level data on race and income,downloaded from the US census website, were applied for the analysis. ArcGIS software wasused as a geospatial analytics tool for hotspot analysis and for producing maps. Based on thestate level standard deviation map, California was found to have the second-highest relativeAsian population as gauged by the standard deviation (Std. Dev.) from the mean (1.5-2.5 Std.Dev.), after Hawaii (>2.5 Std. Dev.), and followed by New Jersey, New York, Nevada, andWashington. The state of California was selected for further investigation. Seventeen of 58counties were found to be Asian community hotspots in California. A majority (48%, 854 of 1763)of the ZCTA were found to be Asian community hotspots in these zip codes in this state, andthis was statistically significant. Only 9% (163 of 1763) of the ZCTA were not statisticallysignificant Asian community hotspots, while 43% of the ZCTA were found to be statisticallysignificant coldspots of Asian communities in California. Among the 17 hotspot counties of Asiancommunities, 14 were also derived as hotspots of mean income. The road layer map revealedthat these ZCTAs are well connected to major roads in the state. New entrepreneurs,enterprises, and investors, those who are willing to open and or invest in new restaurants, butare not sure about the location, could target hotspot ZCTAs in these counties for Asian cuisine.Integrating ArcGIS with census data for producing maps of statistically significant potentialbusiness locations could be used as an important decision-making tool for opening newbusinesses.


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