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Spatial Modelling for Retail Analytics

Date(s) - 28/01/2019
9:30 am - 4:30 pm

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This one-day course introduces participants to sophisticated spatial analysis and spatial modelling approaches that can be used to understand retail sector dynamics. We focus on the analysis of complex interactions between retail demand (consumers) and the retail supply side (retail stores). The tools that we introduce are applied widely by the commercial retail sector and we reflect on the important link between academia and industry in the continual development of these modelling approaches. We introduce participants to statistical and spatial modelling using simulated data related to UK consumers. These include regression and powerful industry-standard spatial interaction (or gravity) modelling. The course is taught via a series of fully supported hands-on practical sessions, interspersed with short lectures and group activities. This provides an applied and theoretical perspective, with examples drawn from the UK but relevant in a number of international contexts.

This course follows on from a previous CDRC training course titled ‘Introduction to GIS and Spatial Analysis for Retail Applications’. Aside from a brief recap of key spatial analysis techniques and spatial data sources, this course teaches entirely new content. It is suitable for those who attended the introductory course and also those wanting a stand-alone course in retail modelling. Participants will leave with a clear practical awareness of model-based spatial analysis techniques commonly applied in retail analytics. Participants may also think differently about their own consumer behaviours having undertaken this course!


Course tutors

Dr Andy Newing (School of Geography, Leeds) is a Lecturer in Retail Geography based in the Centre for Spatial Analysis and Policy (CSAP). Andy carries out applied high impact research in collaboration with commercial and public sector organisations. Research interests include spatial and quantitative analysis for retail location planning and analytics, consumer data analysis, health service delivery, census/neighbourhood analysis, geodemographics, household energy, transport and urban planning.

Dr Nick Hood (School of Geography, Leeds) is a Teaching and Research Fellow based in the Centre for Spatial Analysis and Policy (CSAP). Nick’s teaching covers a wide range of quantitative techniques, specialising in GIS and spatial statistics. He is the convener of the MSc GIS (ODL) module Principles of GIS and is active in the teaching teams on a number of other modules including the topics of Retail, Service Analysis and Planning, and Spatial Analysis.


Who is this course suitable for?

This course is designed for participants who have some experience of spatial analysis using GIS, but no prior knowledge of statistical or spatial modelling is required. Participants are likely to be PhD students or researchers looking to use spatial modelling to enhance their analysis of retail/consumer data in. The course will signpost participants towards CDRC and freely available data resources which would enable them to extend these analysis in their subsequent work.


Course schedule (subject to minor change):

09.30 – 09.40:  Welcome, introductions and housekeeping

09.40 – 10.00:  Lecture – commercial sector retail analytics

10.00 – 10.30:  Hands on practical 1: GIS and spatial analysis for retail modelling

10.30 – 11.00:  Lecture: Regression principals

11.00 – 11.15:  Break

11.15 – 11.45: Hands on practical 2: Regression basics

11.45 – 12.00: Lecture: Scorecard approaches

12.00 – 12.30: Hands on practical 3: Building a scorecard

12.30 – 12.45: Lecture: Reliability of statistical modelling results

12.45 – 13.30:  Lunch

13.30 – 13.45: Small group activity – retail interactions

13.45 – 14.15: Lecture: Spatial interaction modelling

14.15 – 14.45: Hands on practical 4: Building a spatial interaction model

14.45 – 15.00: Break

15.00 – 15.30: Hands on practical 5:  Calibrating a spatial interaction model

15.30 – 16.15: Group activity: Retail network planning

16.15 – 16.30:  Wrap up –CDRC data sources



No prior knowledge is assumed, but participants will get more out of the course if they:

  • Have a basic understanding of UK retailing.
  • Have some familiarity with ArcGIS/ArcMap (e.g. loading shapefiles, producing choropleth maps etc.).
  • Have some familiarity with SPSS or similar statistical software (e.g. loading datasets, running basic functions, inspecting outputs)
  • Are confident using Microsoft Excel (e.g. working with formula).

Suggested reading:

Chapter 8 in BALLAS, D., CLARKE, G. P., FRANKLIN, R. S. & NEWING, A. 2017. GIS and the Social Sciences: Theory and Applications, Abingdon, Routledge.

BIRKIN, M. & CLARKE, G. P. 1991. Spatial interaction in geography. Geography Review, 4, 16-21.

Chapter 5 in BIRKIN, M., CLARKE, G. P. & CLARKE, M. 2017. Retail location planning in an era of multi-channel growth, Abingdon, Routledge.