Do you know when the first maps were used? We have been using maps of different types for thousands of years and perhaps if you think about them and their usefulness; it is easy to conclude that the main purpose is the guidance on a particular land. Which for most of us it translates today in knowing how to reach to an exact location – thanks to applications as recurrent as Google Maps-, where that country is with a rare name or a river in particular.
Beyond location, maps are an essential element for the optimization of decision-making processes in institutions and companies. We have already talked about Geomarketing and Indoor Mapping, in recent articles, two perfect examples of technologies that include location intelligence, since they base the decision making on the basis of geolocated data.
What is Location Intelligence?
If you still do not have the clear concept, Location Intelligence encompasses all technology that is focused on providing valuable information from geolocated data, thus facilitating decision making.
More and more sectors are taking advantage of Location Intelligence. Some of the factors that are leading to its boom are:
- The importance of big data today. Companies have an enormous amount of data to analyze and take advantage of.
- The proliferation of RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology, GPS and telephone antennas.
- The increasing rise of the Internet of things
Thus we have a lot of information that can be exploited thanks to its location. Geolocation allows in many cases to interconnect data that apparently has no relation.
By the end of 2016, one of Forrester’s researches established that one of the most popular and future-oriented technologies were the tools and platforms of geospatial analytics, that is, those that take advantage of LocationIntelligence.
Innovation as an essential part
Location Intelligence is under the protection of consolidated technologies and upwards (from WiFi or GPS to Bluetooth LowEnergy or VLC, communication with visible light) and this always entails an innovation component, sometimes led to surprising dimensions.
An example is Y&R in India, where they lost a lot of money because of the bottlenecks caused by cows, sacred animals there. What they did was put GPS collars on the cows and create an app that would benefit from that information. They managed to reduce travel times, fuel consumption and pollution levels.
Decision making within a company is vital and responsible for the direction and performance of the company. LocationIntelligence helps those decisions have a greater base and backing.
Another case is Domino’s. This multinational had a problem in Australia and is that its franchisees tended to choose the worst possible locations. What they did was to add more information to make better decisions, such as socio demographic data, the situation of their competitors or areas of influence on potential consumers. The new franchisees saw then better the value of each location and acted accordingly.
The union with marketing
Marketing can learn a lot and use LocationIntelligence to improve consumer understanding. The proliferation of localized devices, such as smartphones, wearable or even cars, makes it easier to track the consumer’s location. This allows obtaining data that in the physical world are not as easy to obtain as in the online sphere.
Here comes into play what is known as Indoor Mapping that is, tracking a consumer inside a closed room. Knowing where he is, where he stands, how long, what he buys, what he decide not to buy, all that is gold for a marketing department. Thanks to an app of its own, each business can act in real time on its customers, reward the most loyal or encourage them to buy with offers tailored to their behavior.
In Geographica, we have already developed this kind of indoormapping solutions using SITUM technology and CARTO maps in which we have developed dashboards that allow us to facilitate decision making and view information in real time. So we know what happens from the inside, we can know what our customers want and when. This allows for much more successful decision making, with benefits for both the client and the company.
However, Indoor Mapping is not the only application of Location Intelligence to marketing, since there is even a branch of this specialty dedicated to it: geomarketing.
For those who are not familiar with the term, geomarketing allows decision making thanks to geolocalized information, so according to parameters that are important for the company or entity in question, we can see which the best locations for a new center are, the franchises that work the worst or know which areas are more crowded competitors. If we extrapolate this to the public sector the power of these technologies multiplies, it allows us to know, for example, in which areas there are more crimes, being able to increase the security measures in that area more than the others.
Intelligence Location public benefits
While it is true that the benefits and opportunities open to companies the locationintelligence are very broad, the ones offered in the public sector are no less, since it allows documented decision making and in real time.
One of the main challenges facing cities, especially those that are growing exponentially, is control in management. The greater the number of people and faster growth the more difficult it is to have order and make the right decisions, which ultimately affect the quality of life of the citizen, the waste of resources and general discomfort.
Technologies such as locationintelligence, allows us to have geolocated and real-time information, which is shown in dashboards to people who have to make the relevant decisions. So we can modify the routes of garbage collection, calculate the fastest route to get an ambulance or know the areas where the pollution of the city is high to take action at the time. Far from being fiction, currently Urbo, dashboard for Smart Cities allows to carry out all these and many more actions.
We even go a step further and LocationIntelligence helps the medium/ long term planning of the city growth. Birth information placed on a map, for example, can help you see the needs of schools or parks in a particular area.
Definitely, after this brief review of the possibilities of LocationIntelligence, it is clear that it is a transversal discipline, capable of solving problems and improves performances in many different areas, from giving tools to marketing originating from geomarketing or indoormapping, To create applications that make life easier for citizens.