The importance of location data in 2023

Introduction

Location data refers to information about a specific location, including geographic coordinates, address, and visitor counts and demographics. This data can come from a variety of sources, but is most often sourced from mobile GPS devices. Location data has become increasingly important in recent years, as it’s used in a variety of industries, including retail, financial services, real estate, and more.

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Uses of Location Data

Retail: Location data is used in the retail industry to improve the customer experience, increase sales, and understand competitors. Retailers can use location data to track customer movements in their stores and competitors' stores, identify popular products, and optimize store locations and layouts. Additionally, location data can be used to personalize marketing and promotional offers to customers based on their location.

Financial Services & Real Estate: Location data is helpful for those looking to invest in real estate, and for those who need to understand the potential foot traffic to a specific neighborhood or venue. It can help with site selection, or determining a new physical location for a business or property. Unacast’s site selection solution helps companies understand the best cities, towns, neighborhoods, and venues for potential investment opportunities.

Transportation: Location data is used in the transportation industry to improve efficiency and reduce costs. For example, transportation companies can use location data to optimize routes, reduce fuel consumption, and improve safety. Location data can also be used to track and manage assets, such as vehicles and cargo.

Emergency Services: Location data is used by emergency services to improve response times and save lives. For example, emergency responders can use location data to quickly and accurately locate the source of a 911 call, even if the caller is unable to provide their exact location. Location data can also be used to track the movements of emergency vehicles, improving coordination and communication.

Advertising and Marketing: Location data can be used by companies in advertising and marketing to reach their target audience and personalize their messaging. Advertisers can use location data to track the movement of potential customers and target them with relevant ads or offers. Additionally, location data can be used to track the effectiveness of ad campaigns and optimize them for better results.

Safety and Security: Location data can be used by governments, law enforcement agencies, and private companies to improve safety and security. For example, location data can be used to track the movements of individuals and detect patterns that may indicate criminal activity. Additionally, location data can be used to monitor critical infrastructure and detect potential security threats.

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Challenges and Risks of Location Data

Privacy: Location data can be highly sensitive, and its collection and use can raise significant privacy concerns. This is why Unacast does not provide device ID, instead focusing on aggregated insights from location data. 

Misuse: Location data can be misused by unscrupulous actors to target individuals with unwanted marketing messages or offers. Additionally, location data can be used to track the movements of individuals and detect patterns that may indicate criminal activity.

Cost: Location data can be expensive to purchase and manage, especially when purchasing device IDs. This is why Unacast has created an infrastructure for managing GPS data at scale, anonymizing it, and aggregating it into insights that our clients can use for making better decisions.

Conclusion

Location data is a powerful tool that can be used to improve efficiency and save lives. As the use of location data continues to grow, it’s important for organizations to take a responsible approach to its collection and use. The best option is always choosing a partner that is transparent and diligent in its methodology. To learn more, book a meeting with Unacast today.

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