BuildingFootprintCanada & Commercial Insight

Location experts across industries are coming to us for solutions that combine location and commercial insight.  Location-based Marketing, Telco, Retail, Real Estate and more find these ingredients are powerful to solve their business challenges.  With BuildingFootprintUSA and BuildingFootprintCanada you can combine high accuracy building footprint data with richly attributed business data to solve those problems.  We get asked about how our solution compares on both sides of the border; let’s take a closer look at our Canadian solution.

Buildings + Businesses

Let’s describe our Canadian building footprint + business data solution for you.   In both Canada and the United States we start by linking our building footprint data to business data from Data Axle, formerly Infogroup.  We had a chance to visit Data Axle in late 2019 to understand how they create and maintain a file of 16 million businesses across Canada and the USA.  The key element that we saw is a combination of computer plus human.  Computers gather information from hundreds of different public sources; a department of over 200 people build on this information by calling every possible business in North America to confirm existing data and gather new information.

What does this look like when you pan and zoom around a map with BuildingFootprintCanada data and Data Axle’s Canadian business coverage?  If you are interested in medical arts businesses, and other professional firms, you would see a multi-story office complex where every business is listed along with its business categorization.  Each business is classified using both the SIC and NAICS business categorizations, with multiple SIC or NAICS codes where the business works or sells across multiple categories.

If you are interested in understanding retail businesses, you can see firmographics that will help you understand the business and its operations.  In addition to business classification you can use data such as social handles for a business (website, Facebook, and more), its operating hours, its chain or independent status, estimated sales volume and employee counts, and additional contact information.  All of this data can be used for any type of analysis you are trying to perform, regardless of industry.

Proving the Solution

Business data is exceptionally challenging to collect and maintain, with businesses opening, closing, moving and changing every single day.  The details of what a business is and does is not always obvious and requires legwork to gather the detail.  We review Data Axle business data in Canada to ensure it meets the needs of our clients.

We test the data for completeness.  We review large businesses to see if Data Axle is covering all locations within a few percentage points of how the business describes their location counts – for example nationwide banks, retail chains and financial services companies.  We validate that  smaller independent businesses with multiple locations are each covered by Data Axle.

We look at fill rates for all content — a field of content isn’t worth anything if it is irregularly filled out.  We test to validate that fill rates are both comparable between the USA and Canada, and that the fill rate is meaningful.  For example, if you look at a basic (but hard to gather) variable “website for the business”, the USA and Canadian data are within 3% of each other, and Canadian fill rates are higher!

Find Out More

Are you interested in understanding how BuildingFootprintCanada and Data Axle commercial insight can underpin a solution in a metro area or across all provinces?  Start a conversation with us at or visit our contact page.  Depending upon your questions, we may connect you with one of our Canadian partners who can assist you in creating a simple or complex solution to your business problem.

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