Site prospecting

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Site prospecting is the process of evaluating demographic data surrounding potential locations for a business, based on a user-defined trade area or areas.[1]

Techniques for site selection

The purpose of site prospecting for a business or industry is to find locations in close proximity to customers and resources and to assess prospective sites using criteria that match successful existing sites. Methods may include running radii or drive-time reports around existing sites to establish baseline demographic measures. Key variables such as age, income, ethnicity, traffic and daytime population are used by business analysts to influence decisions made by retailers and commercial real estate firms. As new sites are considered, reports are created using these key variables as well as other data and compared to those of the existing sites.[2]

Site prospecting techniques may include the following:

  • Creating scoring models to rate potential sites
  • Developing gravity models to assess the probability of customers visiting and purchasing from a particular site based on distance
  • Performing GIS analysis to develop "what-if" hypotheses by mapping the impact of new site locations
  • Using multiple regression analyses to predict store sales
  • Geocoding to append geographic codes to customer records
  • Analyzing segmentation data to assess customer behavior patterns

Business analysis tools

ArcGIS Business Analyst is a suite of software products that uses data analysis and aggregation methods coupled with geographic, demographic and consumer spending data to support business processes such as site prospecting, sales forecasting, customer profiling and targeted marketing. Business Analyst combines GIS technology with business and consumer data to create maps, reports and models that help users manage growth, attract new business and make informed business decisions.

See also


  1. Wade, T. and Sommer, S. eds. A to Z GIS
  2. Primavera, Dan. Techniques for Successful Site Selection. REBusiness Online, 10 July 2006. Accessed 2 June 2010.