Conducting the
Community Analysis
What is a Community Analysis?
 Includes market research and broader
analysis of community assets and
 Provides information for current and
potential entrepreneurs to assess market
opportunities and analyze community norms
and shared beliefs
 Useful for determining the quality of life
offered by the community
The Community Analysis will draw on
information from:
 Community presentations
 Entrepreneur interviews
 Government and municipal sources
 Personal observations
Primary and Secondary Data
Primary data:
 Collected by the user for a specific purpose
 May be collected via survey, interview, focus group or
 Meets specific needs of a researcher; however it is
expensive and time consuming to collect
Secondary data:
 Collected for a general information need
 May originate from experts, trade or commercial information
sources, government, community literature
 Less costly and more quickly accessible; may not fit the
researchers needs as well as primary data
Qualitative vs. Quantitative Data
Qualitative data:
 Usually involves words or images
 Researcher subjectively seeks to understand and
interpret data to reveal patterns and themes
Quantitative data:
 Numerical data that can be analyzed using statistical
 Researcher behaves as an objective observer the
Both qualitative and quantitative data are useful in
the community analysis
Evaluating Data Sources
Before relying on secondary data, ask:
 Who is the author? Is the author an expert
on the topic?
 Has the information been reviewed by
knowledgeable experts for accuracy and bias?
 How old is the information?
 Why was the information compiled
(commercial, public use)?
 Who is the intended audience?
Ethics and Confidentiality
 Critical to follow ethical practices in
collecting, recording, and reporting data
 Federal and university standards may apply
when collecting data from human subjects
 Researcher is responsible for guarding
against harm to participants
Guidelines for protecting human subjects
 Participants may not be forced into participating or
sharing information
 Protect participants from harm, including loss of time,
disclosing confidential information
 Protect identity of participants; carefully safeguard
information collected from individuals participating in
the research
 Take care not to discuss information in a public
Components of
the Community Analysis
Community Overview
Provides an introduction to the
community and an overview of current
Presents significant issues facing the
community that may affect residents in
the next several years
Community Overview
Community Residents
 Describes characteristics of the population
of the community
 Potential to identify underserved markets
for new businesses
Economic Stability
 Of the economic conditions in the
community that impact consumers’
purchasing power
Community Overview
Quality of Life
 Describes the community in terms of its
attractiveness as a place to live and work
Community Resiliency
 Does the community have the potential to
bounce back from adversity?
Community Values
 Community attitudes regarding change,
support of local businesses
Community Overview
Retail Sector Analysis
 Describes the location, mix and quality of the retail
sector in the community
Infrastructure Analysis
 Description of the physical qualities of the
community that have the potential to impact
Getting Started
 Review the Community Analysis Guide included
in the Community Analysis Project Description
 Be prepared to take good notes at the
Community Leader presentation
 Arrange interview with entrepreneur
 Begin researching secondary data sources and
collecting needed information
End Result
 Teams will prepare a Community Analysis Report.
 Report will summarize findings of research and offer
recommendations for enhancing the downtown
business district
 Brief oral presentation of results and
recommendations to class and community