Location intelligence is a relatively new concept in business. It is often associated with cartography or traditional GIS, entitled to experts and big enterprises. However, location intelligence brings something completely different to the table, and that’s why it will become an increasingly important area for businesses in the future.
Let’s start with “What is location intelligence?”
Location intelligence is a knowledge domain, an ability, a skill one can learn. Location intelligence is the ability to apply knowledge and discover insights from geospatial data to improve business performance.
This is where the 1st myth comes from.
1st Myth - “Isn’t location intelligence the same as GIS?”
This is probably the most common myth someone who works in location intelligence comes across. There is, in fact, a very strong correlation between location intelligence and GIS, but they’re different concepts.
GIS - Geographic Information System - is, as the name suggests, a technology. It’s the software required for digital mapping and geospatial analysis. However, it lacks the intelligence and business context required in location intelligence. One can say that is with the outputs of GIS and business context that we achieve location intelligence.
2nd Myth - “Location intelligence is something for specialists”
People usually associate anything that has “geo” in it with a complex subject which should be left to specialists and big companies. That has been true for the most part. However, nowadays more and more alternative tools are appearing which are more user-friendly, such as our very own products: City as a Platform, Mapify, and Virtual Venue.
According to a survey conducted by Geospatial World, web/mobile GIS, therefore not traditional GIS, is the fastest growing segment in the geospatial domain. Today we can see business intelligence analysts, policymakers, or C-level executives using location intelligence to help with decision-making.
3rd Myth - “Location intelligence is a privacy violation”
One of the many interesting applications of location intelligence is personalized targeted ads based on a user's location. This data businesses use, contrary to popular belief, is not a privacy breach. Users give consent to their data when checking off the box regarding terms and conditions, right when they create a new account or install a new app on their phone.
Additionally, most of the data used in location intelligence is business data such as localization of stores, sales of each store, and infrastructure surrounding each store (roads, schools, competitors), not actually personal data.
4th Myth - “Location intelligence is very expensive”
Due to the power location intelligence can have when defining a strategy, it gives people the idea that location intelligence is expensive. The truth is location intelligence is suited for any type of business with a location component to it.
Prices will vary according to the size of the company and the desired goals. Location intelligence can be as simple as analyzing customers' daily commute habits and setting up a new e-bike station where there might be a gap. Plus, many location intelligence solutions today are cloud-based, which means they are scalable and costs are proportional to the actual use.
If you finished reading this article, chances are you might be interested in dipping your feet into location intelligence and start making more informed decisions in your business.
At Focus BC, we have multiple products and also create tailored solutions to your needs. Get in touch with us through our contact form so we can discuss the best path for you.