Location Intelligence | Pitney Bowes

Location is key to unlocking new value in existing data

Put your data on the map and uncover hidden insights.

It’s often said that a company’s data is its most valuable asset, no matter what the industry. However, few companies are realizing the value that data holds in generating revenue, either by improving operations and lowering costs, finding new ways to delight customers, or as a source of new lines of business selling data-based products.

Those companies that are deriving new value from data are more likely to be leaders in their industries and experience rapid growth, according to the results of a recent McKinsey Global Survey on data and analytics. They are thinking more critically about how to use data in a greater number of ways to create value for customers and the business.

“Having that vision and intent to extract value from data is the first step for most companies,” says Michael Ashmore, Global Director of Geocoding at Pitney Bowes. One way to unlock value is to add location-based data, a process called geo-enriching. “That turns a piece of data into a piece of information.”

Adding location data can also assist in anonymizing data, Ashmore adds: “For example, aggregating financial data on individuals into demographic boundaries like zip codes or neighborhoods is an accepted practice. This way, no one individual can be identified.”

A recent Forbes Insight report, Location, Location, Location: How Harnessing the Power of Location Data is Revolutionizing Industries, offers examples of how organizations can use location-enriched data in new and innovative ways, including:

  • Restaurants can compare daytime population data with nighttime population to help businesses determine operating hours and define growth strategies
  • City planners can look at where people live and work to identify underserved areas that could benefit from new transportation services
  • By geo-enriching customer profiles, financial institutions can better anticipate account fraud and delinquency 

Creating a new data product

Typically, an organization’s data requires additional third-party information to acquire value that can be turned into cost savings, revenue growth or a net-new data product that can be marketed as a new revenue stream. The mobile phone industry offers a model for turning data into a revenue source. Mobile operators partner with third-party data providers to transform GPS location coordinates of mobile phones into addresses via reverse geocoding.

Digital advertising companies can acquire that data and layer in additional information to establish context for each address where a mobile signal was located, such as ZIP Code™ boundaries, neighborhood demographics, shopping area boundaries and the like—turning a collection of mobile signals into an audience or a target area for location-based marketing.

The financial service industry is another leader in generating new revenue from the data it acquires in the course of doing business. Credit card issuers, for example, draw on vast volumes of aggregated, anonymous transaction data to identify trends in consumer segments across shopping categories and sell the insights to retailers.


Case in point: real estate insight as a product

One financial services company, a leading payroll processor in the US, is leveraging third-party location intelligence data from Pitney Bowes in combination with its first-party payroll data. The result is an anonymized income-based geo-economic dataset that provides residential and commercial real estate insights at the micro and macro level. Businesses can access the dataset through an interactive mapping and reporting tool.

“I can actually show you granular insights at a hyper-local level that can inform residential real estate, multifamily real estate, retail real estate and office commercial real estate,” says one of the company’s senior executives for global strategy. Other markets for the dataset include financial services, economic research, retail and consumer product goods companies.

Learn more

Read about this payroll company’s long-term data acquisition strategy, which can serve as a model for other companies, in the Forbes Insights report, Location, Location, Location: How Harnessing the Power of Location Data is Revolutionizing Industries.