When Uncle Julio’s sought locations for its expanding restaurant empire, it looked to a Fort Worth firm known for striking real estate gold.
And Buxton Co. continues doing just that.
Since 1994, Buxton has pioneered analytics – the science of finding patterns in data – in helping restaurants, retailers, health care providers and others realize their business potential.
“Predictive analysis allows people to see things that, with their own eyes on the surface, they cannot see,” said Bill Stinneford, senior vice president. “That helps break down the logjam of options.”
From its 25,000-square-foot office building at 2651 S. Polaris Drive, the firm’s 120 associates research, develop and create platforms customized for each client’s needs.
For Uncle Julio’s Mexican Restaurants, that meant using Buxton’s Web-based SCOUT platform to select new sites. The online real-estate software resource allows clients to analyze potential locations and create multiple scenarios for market expansion.
Many of Buxton’s 3,500 clients use SCOUT to formulate real estate and operational approaches to determine what markets would be most receptive to their business.
Buxton helps narrow such possibilities with more than 250 databases, producing information covering demographic, financial and health-care considerations. From age and income to profession and spending patterns, those databases cull more than 77,000 characteristics.
And Buxton’s technological toolbox just got an upgrade. In what could be called SCOUT 2.1, it has launched a new analytics platform and enhanced SCOUT application. Like many of today’s high-tech tools, the new platform is mobile-friendly and boasts an array of applications to help users determine the best locations for restaurants, retail shops or office buildings.
The business that was started to help retailers make better site selection has developed into a science, with consumer behavior one of many features added since the early 1990s.
“It’s not just demographic data,” Stinneford said. “It’s also how people behave as consumers. It’s a variety of different things that allow you to collect data.”
Experian, another name in today’s information universe, is known primarily for its credit report services, but it also offers data for marketing and site selection purposes, Stinneford pointed out.
But he thinks his company is better at helping clients boost their business thanks, in part, to its new product. The analytics platform and SCOUT upgrade offers clients not so much a new tool but rather a toolbox.
“The great part of Buxton’s analytic platform is not only SCOUT, which helps you with marketing, planning and site selection, but also the applications for marketing,” said Stinneford.
“We love data, but data in and of itself is worthless. It’s what you do with that data, that’s what is valuable,” he said.
Transforming that data into business strategies is in demand. According to Gartner Inc., global revenue in the analytics and business intelligence market is expected to reach $16.9 billion this year, 5.2 percent more than the previous year.
“The shift to the modern BI [business intelligence] and analytics platform has now reached a tipping point,” said Ian Bertram, managing vice president of Gartner, an information technology research and advisory firm, commenting in a news release.
Buxton plans to continue riding that wave.
“We continue to grow,” said Stinneford.
Though he does not expect a major hiring campaign, Stinneford said, his firm will continue to add associates as needed.
“If we found someone talented, we’ll make a place for them,” he said.
A bigger staff has allowed the firm to upgrade SCOUT and similar product offerings.
“Two years ago, we didn’t have enough talented developers to bring that product to life,” said Bryan Purdy, senior vice president of information technology.
“Now we have a product that is a toolbox rather than a tool itself. We want to be able to provide our clients a toolbox as opposed to just a tool,” Purdy said.
More information on Buxton Co. is available at www.buxtonco.com.