Location Intelligence, Spatial Data Analysis | Pitney Bowes

Smooth operator: How location intelligence helped a local government reduce phone inquiries by 70%

The benefits of geospatial data are everywhere.

Consumers are using location intelligence every day, even if they aren’t aware of it. From the watch around their wrist that automatically tracks the morning walk to work to the phone in their hand that can find the pharmacy that’s closest to their doctor’s office, the benefits of geospatial data are everywhere.

Businesses are starting to recognize the opportunities presented by all this “hyper-local” activity. A recent global business survey showed that more than half of the respondents find location intelligence is “critically important” to their business planning.  In particular, state and local governments are using location intelligence tools to help drive initiatives to improve their communities and increase operational efficiencies. For the local government in Cumberland County, North Carolina, these tools have been especially key.

The region’s staff was inundated by an average of 1,500 monthly phone inquiries from citizens and businesses for information on housing, zoning and land parcels – far beyond what the small staff could handle. They needed a tool that would consolidate and streamline information across various databases, and provide citizens with user-friendly maps.

Now, since launching a new website powered by Pitney Bowes location intelligence software, the county has revitalized customer service programs and boosted efficiency, with the monthly phone calls from the general public reduced by 70 percent. Other state and local governments can also use location intelligence to streamline and standardize public services as follows.

Improving Safety and Resource Allocation
Location intelligence is not a new concept to the groups charged with ensuring public safety in the community. For more than a decade, police departments have been using some form of location intelligence tools to help them make decisions.

For example, rather than analyzing data from larger geographic regions in the community, like neighborhoods, departments can use location intelligence tools to analyze crime statistics right down to the block, street, or intersection level. This detailed analysis allows departments to better understand where to deploy resources for improved public safety, placing officers in locations where they’ll be most effective.

Integrating Health Programs with Location 
We all know an apple a day can keep the doctor away but would it surprise you to know that location intelligence can help community health, too? Imagine a Medicaid beneficiary walking into a local grocery store and immediately receiving a discount coupon for vegetables or fruits on his or her mobile phone. Or your local government identifying hot spots of flu in your community and, to stop the spread of the virus, setting up flu shot clinics within the affected area. These real-time location intelligence capabilities help encourage healthy consumer behaviors and deliver accurately-targeted citizen programs.

The Public Sector and Beyond
The public sector isn’t the only area where businesses are benefitting from the use of location intelligence. The insurance and financial services industries are seeing some exciting opportunities to capitalize on these tools as well. For example, bank and credit card companies can notify customers when they’ve accrued a certain number of points, encouraging them to redeem those points at a store nearby.

As the space continues to grow, businesses across every industry will see how the power of location can help them to obtain a competitive advantage, make better business decisions and, ultimately, better serve their customers.