Focus On: Location Analytics

by   |   September 13, 2013 3:17 pm   |   0 Comments

The question of where—where are our customers, shipments, risks, opportunities and more—is becoming more important to businesses as more devices collect and emit location-based data. Projections from IDC that one billion smartphones will ship this year, and 1.7 billion more are expected to reach the hands of users around the globe in 2017, are just a starting point. The sensors that track machines as more and more get connected to the Internet of Things add millions more data collection points.

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Location analytics are designed to collect this data and bring insights based on correlations that include geographic data. Combined with the proliferation of Web-enabled mapping applications means that more users are gaining fluency in thinking about geography at the same time as tools to collect data and ask questions about location are becoming more robust.

Below, find highlights from Data Informed’s coverage of analytics applications, technologies, use cases and notable data visualization projects that focus on the issue of location.

Data-Driven Location Choices Drive Latest Starbucks Surge

Starbucks executives say their latest major expansion plan to add hundreds of stores globally will make better use of location analytics than an earlier effort begun before the 2008 recession. The profitable results of the past two years show its latest effort is working, the company asserts. Read more.

Examples of Macys offers delivered to Greg Sterling's smartphone app in New York City. Images courtesy of Greg Sterling.

Macys smartphone coupons.

Indoor Location Holds Promise for Marketers’ Use of Customer Analytics

Brick-and-mortar retailers can now use technologies like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and software in LED lights to talk with the smartphones of customers who are inside their stores or nearby. This new ability is enabling retailers to digitally engage with customers in real time, and allowing them to collect data about what their customers are doing inside their stores—information similar to website visitor behavior that e-commerce companies have been analyzing for years. Read more.

Euclid Data Scientist: In-Store Shopper Analytics Should be Transparent

Euclid, a retail analytics company, gives brick-and-mortar clients insights about customer traffic they can use to improve their marketing, merchandising, and operations. Michael Minar, an analytics scientist at the company, explains in this interview that to work well, shoppers need to be made aware of ins-store analytics and the value it can bring to them. Read more.

Risk Managers Visualize Fresh Correlations by Analyzing Location Data

Risk managers discuss how to combine location data with risk management assessments. Read more.

Related: Microsoft Global Security Team Implements Risk Management Dashboard with Real-Time Data

Related: When Everything in a Natural Disaster Revolves Around a Map and GIS Data

GE Analytics System for Utilities Integrates Diverse Datasets to Pinpoint Power Outages

Using a wide variety of data sources—including government-sourced weather data, grid monitoring devices, smart meters, geo-spatial mapping and satellite imagery data, and social media content—GE Digital Energy’s Grid IQ Insight analytics product aims to do two things. First, help utilities pinpoint the locations of power outages faster than conventional techniques. And second, help deliver an informed guess as to the cause of the outage. Read more.

Related: Utilities Relied on Data Visualizations to Update Customers on Hurricane Sandy

Related: Data Visualizations on Display in Wake of Wildfires, Power Outages

The Value of In-House Alliances in Adopting Location Analytics

Analytics professionals from Cirque du Soleil, Starbucks and Petco discuss the challenges and opportunities of building alliances with other departments at the July 2013 Esri Business Summit. Read more.

Esri Users Describe Change Management for Adopting Location Analytics

As business leaders realize ways they can analyze location data in conjunction with other strategic information to improve performance, they are supporting the adoption of analytics that include maps. That was a key message from location analytics experts at the 2013 Esri Business Summit. Read more.

For Sports Venues, Analytics Improve Fan Experiences, and Revenues

To entice more fans to their events, sports teams and stadium executives should be thinking beyond player and team statistics and employing analytics that converge customer sentiment data and stadium-experience data with what they already know about their consumer base, write Scott H. Schlesinger and Dorman Bazzell of Capgemini. Read more.

Islamist Choropleth feature size

Fast Database MapD Emerges from MIT Class

Researcher Todd Mostak created MapD, an usually fast, parallel database that allows him to crunch complex spatial and GIS data in milliseconds using off-the-shelf gaming graphical processing units (GPUs) like a rack of mini supercomputers. At left, a partial view of a chloropleth of Twitter activity in Cairo. Read more.

SAP’s TwoGo App Combines Data, Design to Address Carpool Challenge

SAP has come up with a cloud-based workforce application that seeks to address the challenge of organizing carpools through a mix of data analysis, mapping and application design that, combined with the right employer policies, has the potential to make an impact, experts say. Read more.

Opinion: Getting Your Business Ready for GIS

GIS technology can lead to more profitable operations. But companies looking to implement powerful location analytics tools need to lay the groundwork in terms of data models, information systems business processes to yield the benefits, Stephen McElroy of American Sentinel University writes in this opinion piece. Read more.

Related: American Sentinel University Program Links GIS Data to Business Value

Esri to Broaden Location Analytics with SAP, Salesforce Offerings

Esri, the geospatial software vendor, is working to plant its multi-layered digital atlases inside the workflow processes where business analysts live. Read more.

Related Podcast: Esri’s Jack Dangermond on Marrying Maps with Big Data Analytics

Related: Esri Acquisition of Geoloqi Aims to Unite Timing and Location Data

Related: Esri’s Data-Driven Maps and Visualizations Move to Cloud, Microsoft Office

Apache oil rig North Sea 224x136

Underground Analytics: The Value in Predicting When an Oil Pump Fails

Apache Corp., an oil exploration and production company, has begun working with analytics to predict when electrical submersible pumps need maintenance. Read more.

Related: Using a SaaS Application and Open Source BI to Track Oil Production in the North Sea

Geofeedia Structures Twitter, Social Media Data by Location and Time

Geofeedia is a Web-based analytics offering that distills geolocation data from smartphones and social media networks to create a location-based structure around the unstructured data—images, text, and video— of user activities on Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, YouTube and Picasa. Read more.

U.S. GIS Roadmap Faces Data Collection, Standardization Speed Bumps

There may be speed bumps along the way, but the federal government is driving toward a public GIS mapping of all the nation’s public roads—federal and state—by June 2014. Read more.

A view of the Urban Observatory on display at the Esri International User Conference in San  Diego. Esri photo.

A view of the Urban Observatory. Esri photo.

Urban Observatory Visualizations, Compares Cities Through Data-Based Lens

The French capital is famous as the City of Light, and Ernest Hemingway remembered it fondly as a moveable feast. But look at the data, and what stands out about Paris is the distribution of open spaces it enjoys compared to Los Angeles and Mumbai. The Urban Observatory project gives viewers an apples-to-apples perspective of geographic and demographic characteristics of major cities around the globe. Read more.

FlightRadar24’s Real-Time Visualization of Air Traffic Uses Global Sensors Network

Using technology called Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B), FlightRadar24 has established a network of more than 500 ADS-B receivers around the world, installed and operated by volunteer plane spotters. Read more.

U. of Maryland Breaks Down Traffic Data Silos by Showing ROI

The researchers at University of Maryland Center for Advanced Transportation Technology (CATT) Laboratory can show you in real time how traffic is moving on every major road in dozens of states across the country. Read more.

Livehoods Seeks to Unlock Local Wisdom in Cities Through Foursquare Check-Ins

The four creators of have made a website that shows the character of different neighborhoods in large cities by using check in data from the social media app foursquare to train a machine learning system. Read more.

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