The amount of data business and governments are collecting is growing by the day. NASA1, for example, is managing almost one billion gigabytes of data, which amounts to an Exabyte - 1,000,000,000,000,000,000.
That’s a lot of zeros, and a huge amount of data to manage. This type of information in organisations includes names, addresses, buying behaviours and lifestyle information. Geospatial data - or information relating to location - is at the very heart of this data. 80% of all business data contains a location component.
Savvy businesses are tapping into the goldmine of location information using smart tools and systems to reveal new insights. This process of gaining insights from geospatial data relationships is known as location intelligence.
Businesses today are looking to achieve simple primary objectives or outcomes: to reduce costs; to increase revenues; and to improve the service they deliver. Price is becoming less and less relevant as a differentiator, and so businesses need to find ways to improve their responses to market changes in order to gain a competitive advantage.
Location intelligence plays a major part in helping them reach these objectives. Organisations across a variety of industries are looking to location intelligence to create impact, and bridge the physical and digital worlds of commerce.
Cost savings are one of the key benefits of location intelligence. Using this technology, corporations are able to improve efficiencies by making smarter, more informed strategic decisions. Telecom companies use location intelligence to help manage their assets and accurately forecast network outages, enabling them to respond quickly, reduce downtime and minimise customer service and engineering costs.
In addition, businesses are able to utilise location intelligence to increase revenues. Banks and retailers can identify optimum sites for investment and the potential spend per head within a target demographic analysis. Moreover, many different types of organisation are able to boost their marketing efforts by identifying new customer opportunities, and aiming their marketing at their target markets with more precision.
One of the most significant benefits of location intelligence is the improvement of business service - ultimately feeding into reduced costs and increased revenues. We’ve seen a wide range of organisations using location services to improve their services for customers, and one industry that is benefiting in particular is the insurance sector. Improved catastrophe modelling can produce more reliable results; risk estimations for hazards such as flood, wind, earthquake, explosion and bushfire can be performed with greater precision.
Location intelligence is already being used for a wide variety of business functions. Beyond this, what was once seen as impossible is continuing to be made a reality. By using satellite data to calculate the possible locations reachable within a specified time period, businesses such as estate agents use the service to provide an exact travel time from properties, and can identify shops, tube stations and restaurants within, for example, a fifteen minute walk. All possible due to a partnership between Pitney Bowes and mapping software business iGeolise.
When we consider new data sources such as mobile tracer data from smartphone apps, social media data, and new methods of creating catchments such as public transport, it’s clear that the future of location intelligence has no limits.