Which cities are most concerned about the latest flu?

And where are people buying specific flu-related products as a result?

How can companies cash in?

“Big data” analysis is helping companies capitalize on the business opportunity.

MaxPoint, a developer of technology designed to capture spending and other data on a massive scale and then turn it into actionable intelligence for clients, is helping some companies identify communities most worried about the flu and are stocking up on flu related products. The company has run numerous other data-gathering campaigns, such as cities with most sports interest. 

Huntsville, Ala. tops the flu list followed by Knoxville, Tenn.

Greensboro ranks third.

So how does MaxPoint gather the information, which it summed up in a huge graphic?

The company’s proprietary Digital Zip technology gathers “billions of in-store purchases” then crunches the numbers to identify trends/ The flu graphic is just the latest in a series of topic-related graphics and reports the privately held, venture capital backed firm has developed.

MaxPoint works with data customers to turn the data into what it calls “hyperlocal digital campaigns” that target potential product buyers down to the neighborhood. Campaigns are based on data, not assumptions, the company says.

MaxPoint also tracks and breaks down buying by brands, including generics, and creates customer profiles. 

The 10 cities where flu topped interest:

1. Huntsville, AL
2. Knoxville, TN
3. Greensboro, NC
4. Greenville, SC
5. Des Moines, IA
6. Rochester, NY
7. Birmingham, AL
8. Boise, ID
9. Augusta, GA
10. Milwaukee, WI

MaxPoint says it has already run several campaigns based on the flu data, including where to get flu shots.

“A manufacturer of analgesics wanted to increase brand awareness and drive sales of its products,” the company says. “By running digital ads with MaxPoint, the manufacturer achieved 3 percent sales lift in mass merchandise stores.”