How enterprises make use of national census statistics

Friday, August 23rd, 2019 00:00 |
President Uhuru Kenyatta (centre) and senior State officials when they made an impromptu inspection tour of the affordable housing project on Park Road, Ngara in May. Marital information captured in census can help developers determine the kind of housing needed for the market. Photo/PD/FILE

Peter Okong’o

Data collected in a national population census is useful for enterprises in various ways. 

For example, the information helps business owners evaluate opportunities, consumers’ preferences, their competitive advantages, the market share available and appropriate distribution channels and advertising platforms.

Among the information collected in a census is age, sex, marital status, household composition, family characteristics, household size, number of employed, occupations, place of work, local industries and school attendance, number of college graduates and levels of literacy. 

Large companies and small business owners will be able to use the data for product/service demand forecasting, thus enabling better planning.

The data would show trends in geographical migration or rural-urban migration due to questions on place of birth, residence, how long one has stayed in a specific location. This allows tracking of population movements.

Available skills

Investors looking for suitable locations are keen on knowing the population numbers and the breakdown in terms of levels of education, standard of living, skills available among the population, labour costs and general household numbers. 

This information would help provide answers to questions like: Who their likely customers are; what kinds of services they need and where they are located.

Companies can use the total population size to determine whether it is necessary to expand their services in a geographical location by comparing with past data to see if the resident population is increasing or decreasing in size, or if income levels have risen or dropped.

Information on age and sex can be used by businesses to pinpoint segments of the population that require their services.

Census information on age and sex will display sex ratios and enable businesses see the trends in migration of those of working age in the population so that they know who to target for the skills they need to grow their business.

Marital information offers insights into family formations and housing needs that can help property developers determine what kind of housing amenities the market requires.

Data on household composition and size can help property developers determine housing needs for related and unrelated households.

Data mining

Companies need the data on levels of education attained and literacy to help them determine the educational skills of the work force and design the appropriate strategies to communicate with customers. This is especially critical for mass market giants.

The media finds census data useful for researching news stories, feature articles and documentaries.

Data mining is currently big business propelling the growth of digital firms such as Facebook. 

The population census gives investors valuable information that they would otherwise have to spend millions of shillings to secure.

Companies researching new locations want to know if there are sufficient educated and skilled people in the area because this has a direct bearing on how much they have to spend on employees if, for instance, they have to bring in new hires to make up for skills gaps.

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