Census Business Builder: A Free Tool for Entrepreneurs in Need of Market Research Data
An easy-to-use and free tool available for entrepreneurs interested in demographic or market intelligence is the U.S. Census Bureau’s Census Business Builder (CBB). The CBB provides demographic data tailored to specific users: small business owners and regional analysts. The CBB pulls from data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. It is regularly updated with the most current estimates, presently for the 2015-2019 period.
The CBB Small Business Edition provides users with local data (state, county or city) for competitive analysis in industries such as construction, personal services, food services, professional and business services, food services, retail and healthcare. CBB can create interactive maps and data reports that can provide statistics on, for example, the number of bakeries in a county, the total employment of home flooring firms, as well as key ratios such as population per employers and average revenue per employee for landscaping firms.
Entrepreneurs can also use CBB Small Business Edition for insights into their potential customer base, such as household income, educational attainment, as well consumer spending on dinning out, recreation and health care.
The CBB Regional Analyst Edition pulls much of this demographic and business data for customized regions consisting of groups of counties, such as the eight-county Capital Region. This tool also displays data in interactive maps and data reports. Unlike the Small Business Edition with industry-level data, the Regional Analyst Edition provides sector-level data.