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BUSA 111 : Business in a Global Society

Market segmentation with government data

Required Resource: American FactFinder

Market segmentation data can include a variety of characteristics, including gender, socio-cultural, financial, political, and more. The American Community Survey (ACS), conducted yearly by the U.S. Census Bureau, provides current social and economic data on American communities. Data collected through the ACS survey is very useful when doing market research for business or industry. Using the American FactFinder, you will retrieve specific data sets for the metropolitan/micropolitan statistical area (MSA) you were assigned.

Review this entry from the Small Business Administration for a brief explanation of market segmentation: http://www.sba.gov/content/marketing-101

Links to key resources:

 

Tutorials

How to find Demographic Information in American FactFinder How to Create a Pie Chart with Microsoft Excel 2010 How to Create a Bar Chart with Microsoft Excel 2010


How to Find Demographic Information with American FactFinder

1. Begin by visiting the American FactFinder website

2. In the What We Provide section at the bottom of the page, select Get Data for the American Community Survey

3. Use the search options on the left side of the screen to find the dataset related to your MSA. First select Geographies for a list of geographical areas.

4. Using the drop-down menu, select Metro Statistical Area/Micro Statistical Area. This option appears twice in the drop down list. Select the option that ends in the number 310.

5. Select your assigned MSA from the list of results and click the Add Your Selections button. This will add your MSA to the Your Selections section located on the left side of the page. Close the window by clicking the Close button.

6. Now that your assigned MSA has been selected, you can access data tables for that area. To do this, select the Topics tab from the left side of the page.

7. First you need to retrieve a data set for Educational Attainment

a. Within the topics tab select People, then Education, and Educational Attainment. This will add educational attainment to Your Selections.

b. Close the topics window by clicking the Close button

c. In the search results, find the document Selected Social Characteristics in the United States within the data set 20XX ACS 1-Year Estimates. [Look for the table ID that begins with "DP"]

d. Find the Educational Attainment section of the data set. Copy this information into an Excel spreadsheet in order to create a pie chart. Watch the video tutorial on this page to learn how to create pie charts in Excel. Remember to not include "less than 9th grade" or "9th to 12th grade".

8. Return to the previous page and remove Educational Attainment from the search results by clicking the Red X button from Your Selections

9. Next, retrieve the data set for Income

a. Once again in the topics tab, select People, then Income & Earnings, and Income/Earnings (Households)

b. Close the topics window by clicking the Close button

c. In the search results, find the document Selected Economic Characteristics within the data set 20XX ACS 1-Year Estimates

d. Find the Income and Benefits section of the data set. Copy this information into an Excel spreadsheet in order to create a bar chart. Watch the video tutorial on this page to learn how to create charts in Excel. Remember to not include "median household income" or "mean household income."