With the emerging concept of location intelligence as a metadata tag, many businesses and organisations are beginning to discover they are sitting on a potential goldmine of valuable geographical and movement-related data in a variety of industries.
Turning location data into intelligence for asset owners, retailers and other organisations is now an opportunity that an increasing number of businesses worldwide are exploring.
GeoSpock believes that this valuable data will continue to grow in importance and the figures back us up. According to market research firm Gartner, by 2022, 30 per cent of customer interactions will be influenced by real-time location analysis, up from four per cent in 2017.
An untapped opportunity
For many, location intelligence, therefore, is an increasing focus. However, for many more, it remains something of an untapped opportunity.
Whether data mining and analysing infrastructure is already in place or is set to be built from scratch, GeoSpock believes that a data-first approach can assist any proactive organisation in improving efficiencies and gaining a competitive edge.
In real-life scenarios, from analysing footfall to product positioning, location intelligence is all about bringing order to data – providing an essential bookmark to put into context transactional, social and user data.
Technology will become an increasingly vital tool for marketers and financial officers aiming to exploit openings and new revenue streams, as well as reduce costs. It is about bringing legacy relational databases into the modern world and enshrining data going forward.
Helping cities meet challenges
Collecting data is one thing, using it productively is another. Just because a city has the infrastructure to collect and manage extreme data, unless it adopts an analytical approach through location intelligence, they cannot be considered to be truly ‘smart’.
Location intelligence can be used by smart cities to make sense of their multitude of data. For example, cities can check whether there is a correlation between streetlights being turned off and police incident reports.
Through the lens of location intelligence, cities will be able to decipher the relative impact of small logistical or operational changes of, say, one, five or 10 per cent.
GeoSpock believes that the data analytics provided can assist cities in developing measurable ways of improving themselves – such as reducing CO2 emissions. Changes will only occur if the location intelligence brings about action, though, like influencing consumer behaviours.
If a city really pays attention to data and adopts a data-first approach, they will incorporate it into their infrastructure. However, if they don’t have location intelligence, the data centres will just be walled gardens of technology.
A recent study by Dresner Advisory Services found that 70 per cent of telecommunications companies consider location intelligence to be ‘critical’ to their success, with the remaining percentage considering it to be ‘very important’.
The 2018 Location Intelligence Market Study found that the telecoms industry, more than any other, understands the importance of location intelligence.
We can see that location intelligence is becoming a very important planning tool for mobile operators, especially as the 5G network business case for operators is very fragmented.
There is an evolution into mini-data centres and the operators can use the data provided to work out the movement of people and movement of traffic – and what should be delivered on local or ultra-fast networks.
In terms of ranking the leading industries that are adopting location intelligence, the study tagged national, state and local governments as one of the top sectors.
There is an emergence of a data marketplace. A local administration or city council that understands the location data within their infrastructure may be able to increase efficiencies, of course, but also sell it on to third parties.
An example of this would be understanding the movement of people and where they might need taxis, and then making that data available to taxi companies.
Across various sectors, the Dresner study found that two-thirds of companies with at least 1,000 employees considered location intelligence to be very or critically important.
However, interestingly, all of the companies polled with 100 or fewer employees considered location intelligence to be at least somewhat important – perhaps, the study suggested, due to smaller enterprises being flexible and open to experimenting with game-changing technologies that can scale their businesses.
Location data infrastructure, whether it is in the public or private sector, is sprouting up across various industries and organisations of contrasting sizes. By enriching, analysing and visualising data, location intelligence is moving into the mainstream of the technology landscape.
By Richard Baker, GeoSpock CEO
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