Commercial use of location data is relatively new. Naturally, there are many questions about it, how it’s used, who uses it, and why it’s important.
Let's clear up any confusion by providing comprehensive answers to many of these questions. We’ll start with the most basic of them all: What is location data?
Location data increasingly helps businesses, governments, and other organizations make better growth decisions and plan initiatives more strategically.
We can expect to see the use of location data continue to rise for the fore seeable future. The entities that latch onto this trend will likely be those that come out on top, while those that don't risk being left in the wake of those that do.
It starts as raw location data. We process and analyze it to generate privacy-friendly insights and actionable takeaways for a range of users and use cases. For example, during a global pandemic, monitoring people’s location and movement patterns is essential for effective public health measures and economic recovery planning.
The privacy of personal data is an increasingly important variable in consumers’ purchasing decisions. Consumers’ personal and location data can be extracted from their mobile devices by many of the apps they use daily.
Unacast passionately believes every consumer deserves the right to maintain control over how their data is captured, stored, and used. That’s what we consider privacy-friendly data—information obtained with explicit consent from its owner. Just as experts predicted several years ago, consumers increasingly favor privacy-friendly companies with transparent data privacy policies.
We gather data from millions of smartphones across the US and beyond. However, we never collect or store any personal data without your explicit, opt-in consent. This ensures the confidentiality of your identity and personal information at all times.
We aggregate mobility data up to the census tract level for the most accurate data possible. This produces actionable insights that drive smarter decision making for a range of corporate, governmental, and non-governmental organizations. With location data, you can also understand migration patterns within and between individual neighborhoods, as well as across state lines and the country as a whole.
To measure and gain visibility into human migration, we flag indicators in US census tracts that reveal residential neighborhoods. By monitoring these signals from an historical perspective, we uncover long-term population shifts. We then drill down into granular, local data to determine immigration and migration levels for a given location.
We use data from the American Community Service (ACS) survey, narrowed to the same census tract level we use for location data. We then pair total traffic in a given neighborhood with the average net median income for the area. This allows us to measure the economic impacts of shifting human migration and mobility patterns.
Reduced incoming migration negatively impacts foot traffic. The more densely populated or heavily trafficked an area is, the more noticeable the reduction. Reduced foot traffic limits opportunities for retailers and restaurateurs, leading to store closures and increased unemployment rates.
For example, reduced mobility poses a challenge for CRE investors and operators because it lowers current and forecasted lease rates. With fewer people in a given area, the need for infrastructure drops. Fortunately, you can use location data for risk assessment, reducing the magnitude of that challenge.
Increased incoming migration boosts foot traffic. Since COVID-19 began, populations and foot traffic ratios in many smaller cities and towns are rising. This is likely due to a perception of safety in less densely populated areas, as well as incoming migration.
This inflow is often comprised of former urbanites who relocate or temporarily resettle outside urban centers. Learn more about shifting urban vs. rural populations in our recent monthly neighborhood resilience report.
Get in touch to discover how location data can help test your hypothesis or bolster your analysis.
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