There’s little doubt that data is becoming ever more integrated into the corporate world. Data is providing a new foundation for business forecasting, and now drives executive level decisions, fuels business strategies, and ultimately helps companies to produce better results and products.
For these reasons, an overwhelming majority of enterprises and organizations now participate in data collection of various types. One of which, location data is in the spotlight. Indeed, a 2018 report by leading location intelligence platform CARTO revealed that around 94 percent of organizations collect and store location data in one form or the other.
This may explain why the industry around location intelligence, which studies location data and uses it to solve problems faced by businesses, is now growing at a rapid rate. The same CARTO report shows that the industry has grown from only $9 billion in 2014 to around $22 billion in 2018, and it is expected that the industry will double itself by the year 2022.
Let’s delve deeper into location intelligence and explore what you can expect the industry to look like in 2020 so that you can stay on top of the latest location intelligence trends.
Indoor mapping is vital for having a good understanding of customer behaviour inside a store. The demand for higher quality indoor mapping has led to an explosion in the market.
The global indoor location market is expected to reach $40.99 billion by 2022. Not only this, but it is expected that retailers will spend around $2.4 billion annually on beacons and asset tracking in 2020 alone.
The reason behind this expenditure is to increase the precision of indoor mapping. In brief, this is being done by combining GPS signals, which are typically less precise indoors,, with signals from beacon systems and WiFi routers to make location tracking indoors more precise. With these advancements, companies will be able to gain a better understanding of customer behaviour and movement patterns, which can be incorporated into their marketing strategy and used to improve in-store customer experience.
With Internet of Things (IoT) devices like smartphones and smart homes well integrated into the mainstream, we now have greater power to collect location data and sensor data. By combining this with Cloud Computing, it’s now very possible to to render and analyze location data in real time.
“With IoT devices combined with Cloud Computing, it’s now very possible to render and analyze location data in real time.”
As a result, the entire process of gathering real-time data from varied sources and processing it in real time is becoming a standard for businesses. Multiple streams of data can be gathered and pooled to identify pattern. Soon this will also be able to happen at the advanced stream level.
However, there are two things currently limiting this development: a lack of standardization when it comes to integrating datasets and a lack of accuracy and reliability for the location data itself. Due to the overwhelming demand from both customers and businesses, it’s highly likely that our fast-developing technology will soon provide us with a solution.
According to a study by Dresner Advisory Services,, around 7 out of 10 companies consider location intelligence important to their success.
The one industry that has already readily exploited location intelligence is the telecommunication industry, and this is mostly due to how geographically widespread its locations and services are.
However, the retail, manufacturing and wholesale industries are now also learning to incorporate location intelligence into their business models. This could be for understand in-store customer behaviour, targeted marketing using geofencing, or advanced fleet tracking.
Similarly, the financial services industry has become more interested in the geographic detail of the users at the postal code level, and governments are making use of geographic data to help with cities’ infrastructural planning.
Out of these industries, it will be the mid-sized organizations with around 1,000-5,000 employees which look set to benefit the most from using location intelligence. This is because they are already large enough to have sufficient data and resources to make good use of location intelligence, but are not so large that properly embedding it would take a long time. Thus, location data will help these mid-sized companies to better predict market demand and scale their businesses faster.
It’s been found that 2 out of 3 companies that use location intelligence for their varied business purposes want to integrate with Google for gaining access to additional location-based insights. Google’s popularity is quickly followed by other database extensions for Postgres, Oracle, and others.
Technology around data has developed with the market and more companies are demanding for better integration of data with their existing business softwares. For example, retail and manufacturing and wholesale industries work heavily on integrating external datasets into their own CRM systems.
With the demand for geospatial data not looking likely to slow down, it looks like the next major step will be to facilitate use of the data across multiple industries by improving our methods of integration.
Along with easier integration, companies are also wanting to get the most out of the data by demanding more features from provider platforms.
The highest priority features in a location intelligence platforms consist of map-based visualization, embedded maps in dashboards and displays, and drill-down navigation. We also see that the majority of companies look for functions like built-in or native geocoding in their desired location intelligence platform.
Most executive managers and R&D experts prefer having support for native geocoding, and this has emerged to be one of the most sought-after features among location intelligence platforms. Most geocoding features gain wide acceptance from R&D departments and keen interest from executive management. This reflects better support and adoption for technolgies and strategies based on geospatial data..
Although location intelligence and business intelligence began as two very separate topics, over time they have become more intertwined. This is because location data has proven to be a valuable asset in answering many of the problems business intelligence faces.
Location intelligence establishes a correlation between different data types, especially between the components related to dimension and spatial component. In other words, it provides the context to your story through identifying the location for your events of interest, thus showing you the bigger picture.
As the quality of location data is getting better, it is expected that the outputs gained through AI and machine learning will also improve significantly, as they often rely on location data.
Improvements in location technology will further enhance other data-based techniques and methodologies. As location is so central for understanding context, this will pave way for the introduction of more advanced predictive models and visualization tools, which can then improve the overall performance of business intelligence.
Although the future can be difficult to predict, we’re confident that these trends will come into full swing in 2020 and continue into the next decade.
Location intelligence is being integrated into more and more industries, boosting the demand for high quality location data which is leading to the technology behind it to rapidly develop to meet this demand.