By Aimee Chanthadavong

Long before Google and Bing Maps put dots on maps, MapData Sciences Pty Ltd (MDS) has been providing its clients with geospatial and online map-based solutions.

David Ryan, MDS marketing manager, told Retailbiz the company has been providing its service to retailers, such Australia Post, Woolworths, News Limited, BP and Shell across Australia and New Zealand for more than 12 years.

Core to its business is helping retailers, in particular franchisors, decide where to open up their next branch through the visualisation of data on an interactive map.

“With retailers, when they start out they begin  with  one location and it’s usually close to where the store owner lives, then  they branch out,” Ryan said.

“We have a demographic analysis tool, an online service,  that lets you login and access all the Census and ABS data to help create territories based on CCD’s, postcodes, suburbs, drive times or by radius and visualise this data on an interactive map.

“From the census data you can target those that  meet your customer profile and the opportunities for business growth by more effectively locating your next store.”

At the same time, Ryan said the collected data, which can either be communicated externally to franchisees or utilised internally for decision-making purposes, can help retailer’s pin-point the value of certain territories, as well as assist in having a better understanding of their customers, territories, markets and product placements.

“We’re providing an online mapping solution that helps businesses grow in terms of analysing any changing trends or demographic within their trade areas,” he said.

“Meanwhile, the company’s GeoApps, applications based around geography that use driving distances, territories and postcodes, can also assist retailers on deciding where to open up their next branch” Ryan said.

“It gives you feedback that can be used internally along with data from other areas of the business, such as inventory management or POS systems and the ability to visualise that information – better business decisions using location.”