The business classification experts
The business classification experts

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Business Accumin

The Challenge in B2B Marketing


Business segmentation and targeting is a complex challenge for a number of reasons:

  • Multiple locations often exist for a single legal entity.
  • Multiple decision makers may exist within each individual business and the decision making process is often unclear.
  • Little relationship exists between job titles and decision making authority.
  • There is a high order of magnitude between small and large customers and prospects.
  • Compared to the B2C world, tools remain relatively unsophisticated.

Business Accumin


Business Accumin is a marketing and segmentation tool that allows the analysis and segmentation of B2B customer and prospect information at a geographic level unlike any other tool available in the market. The profiling techniques that it deploys are commonly used to great advantage in the B2C world. However the greater challenges faced in B2B sales and marketing mean such sophisticated techniques are rarely employed other than on a cost prohibitive bespoke basis.


Business Accumin couples the analysis of the UK Business Universe with an understanding of UK Postcode Sectors and individual Postcodes to create a view of the interplay between geographical and commercial factors which will ultimately influence business behaviour.

Because Business Accumin works at an individual postcode area it is highly efficient at matching individual business entities and ideal for any user who needs to analyse the universe of medium sized and smaller businesses. Utilities, telco providers, office supplies companies and automotive companies have all benefitted from this approach.




Business Accumin is the first geographical classification system for profiling and determining business potential. It was developed using the same techniques used highly successfully in consumer marketing.


Version One was developed by Clive Humby, the inventor of ACORN and founder of Dunn Humby. Clive Humby recently received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2014 Data IQ Awards.


Owned and maintained by Context4 Ltd, Business Accumin has been continuously redeveloped and improved by Dr Tim Drye, Data Scientist of the Year and widely respected Data Guru. Tim is responsible for the regular refreshing and improvement of the model, which is now on Version Five.




1. Use Bayesian Cluster Analysis to analyse the Business Universe by postcode to identify the shared attributes of businesses at the same geographic location e.g. similar size or business activity.

2. Using postcode analysis, identify and overlay information about the commercial geography, the key item being the identification of residential areas and their nature.

3. Incorporate other complementary data sets to create further insight e.g. is this a business hub, is this a blue collar or white collar area?

4. Create the classifications from the clusters. Derive from each cluster a unique description

5. Build the segmentation to reflect the descriptive labels of the clusters, ensuring that they capture every postcode area in the UK.

6. Work back from the individual descriptions to the postcoded business to validate and refine the model. Modify the groupings of postcodes to ensure that they reflect the descriptions.

7. Refresh the key datasets on an annual basis.


Data Sources


  • D&B UK Trading File (UKTF). The universe of all actively trading businesses. Approximately 3m businesses.
  • Royal Mail Postal Address File (PAF). Includes approximately 1.7m postcodes of which some 1.4m are residential and 0.3m are commercial. Use of this residential data at individual postcode level builds high levels of insight into the model.
  • UK Government Census. Utilisation of both residential information and the working population database allows for incorporation of intelligence about blue collar/white collar working, business hubs, commuter belts etc.
  • Council Tax Band Data. As a proxy for property values, this data helps to identify the character of a residential area.
  • VAT Database. Provides strong coverage of hard to find business information such as home working and SoHo businesses.
  • Business Rates Data. Provides additional insight into the size and type of business. This data set needs to be edited e.g. to exclude such ratable entities as Poster Sites.

Typical Applications


  • Business Accumin can help the owners of retail businesses to understand the risks and opportunities presented by the location of existing and potential sites, whether shops, restaurants or pubs.
  • Utility companies selling contracts into particular localities need to know where to target their investments and other resources. For instance, knowing that a particular area which is outwardly residential is also home to high density call centres would make it an attractive target area.
  • Telco companies with limited information about the parties with whom they are contracted can use Business Accumin to better understand them. The segmentation enables the creation of the right strategies to manage, grow, or wind down business with each individual customer group.


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