One of the things about living in a country with lots of organisations interested in you is that there's lots of free and commercially important information available on people, streets, towns, cities and regions across Scotland.
Combined with a commitment to making public information, well, public, this development has led to the development of a strikingly interesting field called geo-sociodemographics.
The data from Scotland's regular Censuses is available for use, along with a wide range of economic and other statistics collated by an army of statisticians. The clever bit about geosociodemographics is that you can pull all these variables together, effectively creating segmented views of the people who live in different streets, areas which you can search by using an online map. It's much easier to understand if you start playing with the maps yourselves.
So, here's a national one. I love the Open Geodemographics website, with its handy postcode finder. You won't be able to resist using it.
Customer Profiling Exercises
And here's one I've pulled together for Midlothian Council, tracking calls to the council from different areas or collections of postcodes. This map allowed the Council to see exactly where our hotspots of demand are from our telephone users, giving us the insight we need to start making changes to services in order to create savings. Where we saw high levels of demand, that's where we're trying to open new places where people can get face to face help - in the hope that this will lead to fewer phone calls from the streets round about our new customer hub.