What businesses should expect when they implement location based analytics
Mapsted’s location-based analytics combines geographic data from assets with data on an organization’s operations and customers to discover powerful answers to any business challenge and share those insights with the rest of the organization.
Location-based analytics enables businesses to build complete information and analyses for reaching new customers, markets, and labels of success by bringing the power of Mapsted’s hardware-free technology to traditional business analytics systems, like business intelligence (BI), customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), and enterprise asset management (EAM), as well as productivity tools like Microsoft Office and collaboration tools like Google Sheets.
Companies create, manage, and analyze large quantities of data in business systems they use everyday. Information about location is pervasive in this data. Customers and visitors have a location. Assets, whether fixed or mobile, hace locations, as do staff members and suppliers. With the ever-present use of mobile devices and social media, location data is becoming even more pervasive.
By choosing to ignore the location data in your business systems, your company misses the opportunity to make the most informed decisions and create the best business outcomes. Typically, business analysts, marketing directors, operations managers, and other decision makers lack easy access to spatial tools that visualize and analyze data in a geographic context. Mapsted’s hardware-free location-based analytics provides a transparent connection between the analytics that are required for a successful business and the business systems already being used every day.
Many businesses are completely unaware of the value that location analytics can add even if they do use some form of mapping in these business systems. The common misconception is that mapping is just adding data as “ dots on a map”.
While putting data on a map will help uncover patterns that graphs and charts won’t show, the true value of location analytics can be much greater. The three imperatives of location analytics outlined throughout the rest of this article will help those unfamiliar with Mapsted’s location based analytics. For those who may be familiar with location analytics technology, but not necessarily Mapsted’s, these imperatives can be used as a yardstick to measure the activities of your business in terms of its level of sophistication and maturity in the use of location analytics.
Imperative 1 – Expand your overview
When you’re in the market to buy a house, you don’t make your decision based entirely on the information the real estate agent gives you. Your decision is based on more than just the number of bedrooms or the price. Typically, you do some additional research. What is the neighborhood like? What shops are in the area? How far am I away from my office? All this information helps you make a more informed decision.
It’s the same situation when you’re making a decision about your business. You’re not going to be able to make the most informed decision if you’re only looking at your own data. You need to enrich your view by learning more about the geographic areas in which your business operates. What are the demographics and lifestyles of the people that live in each area? How are they expected to change? Where are competitive or complementary businesses? How long does the typical customer spend in a store? The acquisition of this information is called geoenrichment. This information can add value to your data in ways: data enrichment and map enrichment.
Data enrichment means adding new columns of information to your own database records so you can slice, dice, and analyze that data in new ways. Although your CRM data might reveal a lot about what products your customers buy and how often they buy them, it won’t tell you much (if anything) about the lifestyles or the life stages of those customers. If you can add these dimensions to your data, you can better determine the optimal products and services for your customers and how best to reach them.
Map enrichment means adding new layers of information to the maps you create. These map layers could represent demographics or the locations of certain types of businesses. This data could be administrative boundaries acquired from a third party or real-time data like the path of a storm. Using these map layers with maps of your data can provide a more complete picture.
Imperative 2- Go beyond basic mapping
Putting your data on a map is simple and easy with many available mapping products. However, the business user dealing with a significant volume of data, say thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of customers, will need the right tools (Mapsted Analytics) to create value from location data because simply putting lots of data points on a map can quickly obscure it.
Fortunately, there are better ways to extract information about this data from the map. Not only does Mapsted Maps make it easy to create a custom map, Mapsted offers tools like clustering, heat maps, colour coding, and segmentation. These strategies reveal more information from data, quickly surpassing the basic dots-on-a-mao approach.
Imperative 3- Perform Map-Driven Analysis
Mapping your data can uncover many patterns and insights that graphs, charts, and tables simply won’t reveal. However, the true value of a map is realized when you can interrogate it. Then it becomes a new analytical tool. Map-driven analysis can range from simply connecting maps to your data to more complex operations using spatial queries with geoenrichment.
Connect your maps to your data so as you drill into your charts and graphs, the map updates to reflect the changes in unison or, conversely, as you drill into your map, graphs and charts update to reflect the current geographic area.
Use spatial queries with geoenrichment to understand the effects more fully. For example, by determining the path of an approaching hurricane and identifying the types of customers or facilities that may be affected, you can estimate vulnerable populations or forecast losses.
Determine statistical anomalies in your data by using hot spot analysis to identify statistical outliers to validate data quality.
Use spatial modeling to predict performance for existing or new locations. It can answer questions such as, What effect will opening a new facility in this location have on sales in existing stores?
To maximize the value of your business data, it is critical that you follow the three Mapsted location-based analytics imperatives: expand your overview, go beyond basic mapping, and perform map-driven analysis. Back by a support team available 24/7, Mapsted location-based analytics and the Mapsted Maps platform will help you and your business apply the three imperatives of location-based analytics.