What is Location Intelligence?

Location Intelligence - A definition

To understand Location Intelligence, it is important to first understand the types of location data that exist. Like it or not, every one of us is generating location data every single day. Common types of location data include:

GPS data generated by devices like mobile phones, smart watches and fitness trackers Mobile specific location data generated from cell tower pings Payment data, either geotagged based on the location of the point of sale device used, or online purchases associated with a specific destination (eg: travel and leisure purchase) “Geosocial” data, such as that created when social media posts are geotagged Offline sources such as census data

Of course, the mere existence of this data is not particularly useful to your business. This is where Location Intelligence comes in.

Location Intelligence is the process of collecting, analyzing, and interpreting location data to gain insights that can be used to make better business decisions.

The Benefits of Location Intelligence

Location Intelligence enables improved decision making, better efficiency, reduced risk, and enhanced customer satisfaction. It is useful across many industries, and in many business processes. Examples include:

  • Strategic planning: Location Intelligence can be used to make better strategic business decisions. For example, a retailer looking to open a new store can use Location Intelligence to gain insight into potential clients in the surrounding area, and the level of competition they could expect from other businesses.
  • Visitor experience: Location Intelligence can be used by local government and tourism providers to better understand the demographics of visitors to their area. With this information, they could ensure that the type, level and availability of services in the area were optimised for stimulating the local economy.
  • Advertising performance: With Location Intelligence, insight into advertising performance in the real world can approach that which we have all come to expect with online advertising. For example, a business running advertisements on a billboard could gain insight into the amount of traffic passing within view, as well as their demographics and spending habits.

The use of location intelligence is growing rapidly, and it is expected to continue to grow in the future. This is due to the increasing availability of location data and the development of new technologies that make it easier to collect, analyze, and interpret this data.

Getting started with Location Intelligence

Getting started with Location Intelligence can be quite daunting. There are three basic layers to any Location Intelligence solution, and each one presents its own challenges.

1. Data Access

Firstly, you need to understand what type of location data you need. If you’re interested in people movement data then GPS or device tracking data may suit. If you need visitor spend information you can look to access general spend datasets, such as those large credit card providers offer. If it’s more specific then you may be able to go direct to the source. Eg: Providers like AirDNA, who offer data feeds on short term rental (such as AirBnB) bookings. Clearly understanding the data you need is only half the battle though. In many cases, this data is expensive to access (or impossible at small scale), and barriers such as high compliance requirements - due to privacy constraints - for approval to even be considered can put it out of reach of many businesses.

2. Data Preparation

Once you have sourced the relevant location data to feed into your Location Intelligence solution, you now need to process it. Data from different feeds will need validation, transformation, and aggregation. Doing this manually can be very time consuming, so automation is a must. Not many businesses have the capability, time, or budget for this type of implementation though.

3. Reporting and Insights

Finally, after sourcing and preparing your data, you are ready for the actual value add part of the Location Intelligence process, reporting and insights. There are multiple levels to the solutions available here:

  • Automated PDF reports for distribution to business users
  • Configurable dashboards within a hosted solution
  • “Power user” level access data through pivot tables, or direct SQL queries

Your Implementation of Location Intelligence

The benefits of Location Intelligence are clear, how you go about implementing your own solution will depend on the data you need, the capability and bandwidth of your existing team, and your budget. If you are interested in a solution that takes care of all of the heavy lifting, please get in touch with us here at Hemisphere Digital.