A study area is geography for which data is analyzed in a report and/or map. BusinessDecision offers two ways to define study areas:
  • Site based study area
  • Geographical unit based study area
Site-based study area:
  • Overlapping Rings: Overlapping rings are the traditional choice of marketers for collecting demographic data. Choose a street intersection, address, or latitude and longitude coordinate as the center point (site) of this study area. Then select up to three overlapping rings around the center point for which data is obtained. For example, chosing one-mile, three-mile, and five-mile rings describes data in 0 to 1-mile radius, the 0 to 3-mile radius, and 0 to 5-mile radius. Each of the three data sets is presented in a side-by-side comparison.
    Learn more about how data is calculated for a study area.
  • Donut Rings: Donut rings, also called bands, are study areas that are cut out like donuts and do NOT include any overlap. Donut rings offer marketers the traditional ring study but without duplication of data from overlapping areas. Choose a street intersection, address, or latitude and longitude coordinate as the center point (site) of a donut study area. Then select up to three overlapping rings around the center point for which data is obtained. For example, choosing one-mile, three-mile, and five-mile rings describes data in 0 to 1-mile radius, the 0 to 3-mile radius, and 0 to 5-mile radius. Each of the three data sets is presented in a side-by-side comparison.
    Learn more about how data is calculated for a study area.
  • Drive-Time: Drive-time study areas are defined by the time it takes to drive from the outer border of the area to a site location. Drive-time polygons are an effective tool for defining a trade area and describing an area where access to a site is affected by natural and man-made barriers such as mountains, rivers, lakes, canyons, bridges, and highways. Choose a street intersection, address, or latitude and longitude coordinate as the center point (site) of a drive-time study area. Then select up to three drive-time distances in minutes around the center point for which data is obtained. For example, a 5-minute, 10-minute, and 15-minute drive-time report describes data in 0 to 5-minute distance, 0- to 10-minute distance, and 0- to 15-minute distance study area. Choose up to a 60-minute drive time to your location. Drive-time areas consider traffic under normal conditions.
  • Hand-drawn Shape: Hand-drawn shapes are areas defined by you. Draw your own shapes to define unique study areas such as sales territories and distribution regions.
Geographic-unit based study area:
  • Core Based Statistical Area: The Core Based Statistical Area (CBSA) represents both revised Metropolitan Statistical Areas and the new Micropolitan Statistical Areas. New metropolitan and micropolitan statistical area definitions were announced by the United States Office of Management and Budget on June 6, 2003, based on application of the 2000 standards with Census 2000 data. Metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas are collectively referred to as Core Based Statistical Areas.
    • Metropolitan statistical areas have at least one urbanized area of 50,000 or more population, plus adjacent territory that has a high degree of social and economic integration with the core as measured by commuting ties.
    • Micropolitan statistical areas are a new set of statistical areas that have at least one urban cluster of at least 10,000 but less than 50,000 population, plus adjacent territory that has a high degree of social and economic integration with the core as measured by commuting ties.
    • Metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas are defined in terms of whole counties or county equivalents, including the six New England states. More information can be found at www.census.gov/population/www/estimates/aboutmetro.html.
  • Designated Market Area (DMA): A television market as defined by Nielsen Media Research.
  • Congressional District: One of the 435 areas from which people are elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. Congressional seats are apportioned among the states after each decennial census, based on the population counts. Each state is responsible for establishing districts that are as equal in population as practicable for the purpose of electing representatives. The data represents the Congressional Districts of the 108th Congress.
  • County: The primary political and administrative subdivision of a state.
  • County subdivision: The primary division of counties and county equivalents for the reporting of decennial census data. County subdivisions include census county divisions, census subareas, minor civil divisions and unorganized territories.
  • Place: An incorporated community, or a location designated by a state or local government for communities that are not legally incorporated.
  • ZIP Code: An area created by the U.S. Postal Service to facilitate mail delivery. Census Tract: A small statistical subdivision of a county. Local committees usually delineate tracts to represent relatively homogeneous neighborhoods of about 1,500 to 8,000 residents.
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