BUSINESSBy BiztechAfrica - Oct. 22, 2012, 12:09 p.m.
South African-based ST Group, in partnership with Market Decisions and Map IT, has launched a set of spatial data tools that allow public and private sector to visualise and plan around the demographics, business environment and geographical environment across Africa.
ST Group launched its Africa Profiler location intelligent software in Johannesburg, South Africa, today.
The tools incorporate reliable and up to date layered data sets from a range of sources, with vector data from Map IT, to allow business and public sector planners to determine market needs and realities in countries, provinces and cities across the continent.
Profiler covers 58 countries and is designed to deliver insightful information that enables business decisions about expansion into Africa, says the group.
Sheny Medani of Market Decisions notes that the rush for Africa is on, with foreign investors keen to enter markets across Africa. Africa’s economic growth is set to outstrip that of many major growth markets such as China and Brazil over the next 20 years, she says, and foreign investors are looking to enter Africa.
However, securing usable and relevant data has been complicated to date. ST Group has – over the past 12 months, verified and integrated relevant data for the continent, says Medani.
ST Group’s Mark Kindler, elaborating on the the relevance of the solution, said: “Profiler is for making market decisions.”
It looks at where markets are, their demographics, migration, transport infrastructures and existing points of interest.
The data also allows enterprises to examine issues such as the ease of doing business in a country or region, GDP growth and other economic data.
Based on this information, would-be investors can plan their roll-outs in countries, provinces, cities and even suburbs.
ST Group’s Jeff Connacher also highlighted the SiteMarker analytics tool, which can integrate data from an enterprise's own historical data with Profiler data and MapIT vectors to deliver a strategic forecasting tool allowing businesses to plan sites for malls or stores, or authorities to plan community facilities, based on demographics, competitors, other available facilities and travelling time and infrastructure in the area.
The tool can be used to plan the best possible sites for advertising campaigns, stores, health clinics or malls.
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