Our Best Tips for Businesses Using Location Intelligence

October 26, 2023

When it comes to location intelligence derived from geospatial data, there are a variety of potential uses. From natural disaster preparedness and relief to making brilliant business decisions, location intelligence can help organizations in many different industries accomplish their goals, increase efficiency, and even address some of society’s biggest problems.

Spatial data analytics technology, 3d illustration.

By adding real-world consumer behavior insights to your research, you can better understand human behavior and consumer trends and add rich context to your analyses. However, each business or organization may need to use location intelligence in a different way to meet its goals. So, we’ve compiled a few of our best tips for using location intelligence to help you get the most out of your location data.

Our Tips for Businesses Using Location Intelligence

1. Know Your Needs

The best place to start with location intelligence is by understanding your specific needs and goals—what do you want to accomplish with location intelligence, and how can a location data provider help? There are plenty of traditional and emerging ways we’ve seen organizations use location intelligence tools, and we’ll likely continue to discover more. For example, can location data help your business by increasing supply chain visibility? Are you looking to update your location data handling practices with an added layer of privacy assurance? Or perhaps you’re looking to gain a competitive edge by better understanding your competition’s customers and their interests. Whatever your company’s needs are, understanding your goals is the first step to finding the right location data provider and making the most of your data.

It’s also important to understand the benefits of working with a location data provider. Location data providers like Gravy Analytics can thoroughly and effectively process and cleanse billions of location signals daily, incorporating forensic flags for added transparency. Location data providers also ensure you’re working with the most accurate data possible by identifying and removing fraudulent signals, deduplicating signals, and normalizing data to account for fluctuations in their data supply.

All of these processes provide high-quality, privacy-friendly, and transparent data, reducing data processing costs for businesses and increasing your confidence in the data you use.

2. Evaluate Data Quality

Not only is it important to evaluate your organization’s goals and needs for location intelligence, but it’s also important to evaluate the quality of the data you receive from your provider. First, review the provider’s data sourcing strategy to ensure that you are protecting yourself from disreputable data sourcing. You want to look for regulatory compliance and ensure that all data has been collected with the consumer’s permission. It is also important to understand your data provider’s data cleansing methods for removing problematic and duplicate data to increase accuracy and efficiency. Among many other things, these are some of the ways you can evaluate your potential location data providers to ensure they are a great fit and you’re getting the highest-quality data.

It is important to evaluate the data quality of a location data provider because there are plenty of hidden costs and risks that come with using bad or low-quality data. For example, if you’re not working with data that has already been processed and cleansed, you will need to process, cleanse, and store all of the raw data yourself, increasing costs for your business. Without the proper infrastructure to handle these processes, you could risk skewing your datasets, getting inaccurate results, using signals captured at privacy-sensitive locations, and more.

3. Prioritize Data Privacy

Speaking of filtering out location signals captured at privacy-sensitive locations, our next best tip for using location intelligence is to understand the ways in which your location data provider prioritizes data privacy. Is your data provider avoiding using data from sensitive locations like medical facilities, schools, or places of religious worship? The Network Advertising Initiative considers places like the ones listed above to be examples of sensitive points of interest. These are places where connecting location data with other information about that location could reveal private or sensitive information about consumers. Here are examples of places regarded as privacy-sensitive:

  • Places of religious worship 
  • Correctional facilities
  • Places that may be used to infer an LGBTQ+ identification
  • Places that may be used to infer engagement with explicit sexual content, material, or acts
  • Places primarily designed for use by children under 16
  • Domestic abuse shelters, including rape crisis centers
  • Welfare or homeless shelters and halfway houses 
  • Dependency or addiction treatment centers
  • Medical facilities that cater predominantly to sensitive conditions (such as cancer centers, HIV/AIDS, fertility or abortion clinics, mental health treatment facilities, or emergency room trauma centers)
  • Places that may be used to infer refugee or immigrant status, such as refugee or immigration centers and immigration services
  • Credit repair, debt services, bankruptcy services, or payday lending institutions 
  • Military bases

The number of privacy-sensitive locations is vast, which underscores the importance of understanding both the risks of handling data collected from these locations and how your location data provider works to avoid these risks. Prioritizing data privacy ultimately helps businesses gain a competitive edge by helping them boost trust levels with consumers and employees, protect their reputations, and prepare for future changes in legislation and privacy regulations.

4. Use Location Intelligence to Enrich Other Datasets

Finally, once you’re sure you are working with the highest quality data possible, enhancing other datasets is one of the most useful ways to work with location intelligence. Enriching other datasets with location intelligence can add value by providing additional context and insights into various aspects of the dataset and its relation to the physical world.

For example, location intelligence can add a layer of personalization to your marketing and customer data based on a customer’s physical location. When enriching weather data with location intelligence, you can gain a wealth of insights into the ways that weather impacts human behavior. Or, for real estate investors, location data can provide valuable insights into what areas people are moving to and from, informing potential property values and rental rates across different locations. These are just a few ways in which location intelligence can add value to other datasets and help you glean more insights from your data.

The Power of Location Intelligence

While these are just a few of our best tips we have for those working with, or planning to work with, location intelligence, there are many more ways to get the most out of this data based on your needs.

Overall, our best tip for using or evaluating location data is to understand how powerful this data is. There are countless amazing ways to use this data, and new use cases are popping up all the time. It’s clear this industry is evolving quickly, and understanding the potential of location intelligence can help you make brilliant business decisions and thrive in today’s world of shifting consumer trends, increased digitization, and an evolving legislative landscape.

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