Location Intelligence, Spatial Data Analysis | Pitney Bowes

Use location intelligence to turn big data into business insight.

Big data is great. The problem is, there's just so much of it. Companies often have trouble connecting seemingly disparate data points for insight that can help fuel smarter business decisions.

This process grows increasingly difficult as location-aware consumer devices — smart phones, smart watches and other wearables — join RFID, global positioning systems and the Internet of Things to generate ever-more information. 

By uncovering ambiguous relationships between data sets, location intelligence coupled with geospatial analysis can help organizations find business value in big data. This is the finding of The Power of Place: How Location Intelligence Reveals Opportunity in Big Data, a Forbes Insights white paper sponsored by Pitney Bowes. For example, location intelligence can help retailers determine where their customers live. Retailers can then plan new store locations accordingly. Location intelligence can help logistics companies verify addresses to reduce or eliminate the "re-delivery" costs associated with inaccurately addressed items. It can help property and casualty insurers write the right policy on the right property at the right premium.

Let's take a closer look at the business applications for location intelligence, and how these applications can help fuel business. 

Business uses for location data

Location data coupled with geospatial analysis software can enrich information, then help organizations better analyze and visualize it.

 

The process starts with geocoding, or the act of deriving latitude and longitude coordinates from addresses. Software programs can meld geo-coded data points with additional property and consumer information to develop a more detailed picture of the person or place being examined. In insurance, for example, geo-enrichment can append critical information about a property — the type and number of buildings on a particular parcel, building age, elevation, construction type, area crime rates and sales value — to a specific address. This information gives insurers a better view of the risks associated with this property — risks they can take into account when writing the policy. 

Organizations can analyze geo-enriched data to draw customers and increase sales. For example, an analysis of geo-enriched data can help retailers determine how much their customers have to spend and what they want to buy. That information can help retailers optimize store layout and alter merchandise mixes to more closely align with consumer buying patterns. Using geo-enriched data, retailers can also develop mobile applications for in-store use to entice consumers with deals after they check in to the store.

 

Geo-enriched data can also help organizations better visualize information. Traditional analytical software produces results in spreadsheets, pie charts and bar graphs. Location intelligence programs output information in maps. These maps make it easier for businesses to see proximity relationships between data points. They also help make the data easier to understand for business users. 

Using location data to improve competitive advantage

By fueling new services, enabling improved decision making and helping companies better tailor advertising and marketing efforts, location intelligence can provide businesses with a competitive advantage.

Sometimes, location intelligence spurs new businesses. Just consider the location intelligence capabilities that power Uber, Lyft, and other ride sharing applications. At other times, location intelligence is used to improve decision making and fuel innovation. A franchise business, after determining the most profitable spots for new stores or restaurants, can charge franchisees a premium for opening in those areas.

Advertising and marketing professionals are also harnessing the power of location intelligence and geospatial analysis. These technologies can help provide a better understanding of customers and their buying patterns, thereby helping organizations develop more targeted marketing and advertising messages. In addition, organizations can collate and condense transaction histories and other information contained in different data streams to develop a single, holistic view of each customer. 

Learn more

Location intelligence and geospatial analysis software can help businesses make connections between seemingly disparate data points. As a result, organizations can often make smarter decisions and improve business. To learn more about how these technologies can help your business, download this Forbes Insights white paper, sponsored by Pitney Bowes: 

The Power of Place: How Location Intelligence Reveals Opportunity in Big Data