Why you should care about location Intelligence?

Location Intelligence is not a new concept.

On the 7th of September 1854, Dr John Snow went before the Board of Guardians of St James’s parish, London, and told them to remove the handle from their local water pump.  The board, made up of local tradesmen and shopkeepers, was seeking solutions to an outbreak of cholera that had swept London, killing hundreds.  The best medical minds of that era believed that cholera was an airborne infection, but Dr Snow had developed a competing theory – that the disease was actually carried by contaminated water.  And unlike many of his contemporaries, John Snow used empirical evidence and statistics to back up his claim. 

Dr Snow’s cholera map shows the locations of the 13 public wells in the area, and the 578 cholera deaths mapped by home address

He drew up a map of 13 public wells in the Soho district, and on the map he noted the locations of all the known local cholera deaths.  A pattern emerged around a particular water pump, and he sampled and tested the water.  Having concluded that his theory was worth pursuing, on that September day, with a brief speech and a compelling map, Snow convinced the parishioners to remove their pump handle.  The cholera outbreak subsided shortly afterwards.

This is one of history’s earliest examples of Location Intelligence at work.

Though technology and data have changed, the fact remains that, as in 1854, seeing location data on a map leads to better decisions and better business outcomes. Grand View Research anticipate that the Location Intelligence market size will reach $25.25 billion by 2025. For businesses, Location Intelligence increases sales, reduces costs and boosts the bottom line.

What is Location Intelligence?

So what is Location Intelligence? It is people, processes and technology turning location information into business outcomes. It’s related to, but distinct from Business Intelligence in that it enables your business to answer questions that couldn't be fully answered without a map for context.

Globally, businesses are using Location Intelligence to:

  • Identify new customer markets

  • Improve marketing efforts

  • Improve customer service

  • Manage risks

  • Assess market penetration

  • Optimise supply chains

  • Define market segmentation

  • Arrange network deployment and optimisation

  • Detect fraud

  • Inform new product development

  • Increase brand loyalty

  • Understand patterns & trends related to utility consumption and capacity

  • Perform vehicle traffic analysis

  • Optimise sales territories and redistricting

  • Understand environmental changes/impact

  • Inform site planning

  • Inform fleet routing

  • Identify world events & topics of interest for journalism

What can Location Intelligence do for my business?

Simply put, maps save money. A study by Dresner Advisory Services found that  businesses with fewer than 100 employees consider Location Intelligence important. Forbes notes that small companies in particular are able to be flexible with these technologies, helping scale their business faster, fuelling greater growth.  

Everything happens somewhere, and a majority of businesses are realising that having an understanding of location is critical to their long term success. A majority of C-Level executives, managers, and analysts believe that Location Intelligence is important to their long term success: in a study by Carto in collaboration with Hanover Research, 84% of C-Level respondents indicated that Location Intelligence is very or extremely important, and had the intention of investing over the next three years.


Likelihood of investing in Location Intelligence?

84% of C-Level and management respondents indicate that Location Intelligence is very or extremely important, and had the intention of investing over the next three years.

How does it work?

Like Dr Snow, today’s Location Intelligence specialists use maps to tell stories that simplify work. These maps enable businesses to:

  • Quantify the impact of business interests by visualising their size, shape and distribution

  • Manage overlapping business interests by visualising the relationships between them

  • Satisfy priorities by determining optimal locations and routes

  • Respond quickly to opportunities by identifying trends and detecting patterns

  • Gain competitive advantage by making analytical predictions


Location Intelligence achieves these results by addressing specific business problems through maps, enriched with data gathered across a number of sources such as open data portals, IoT devices, Sensors, field apps, crowdsourcing, Big Data, and web services.

Gartner forecast that by 2020 there will be 20.4 billion internet-connected "things" in use.  This means the volume of data and potential insights is growing rapidly. Importantly, Location Intelligence is centred on the idea that there is untapped potential locked away in your business’s information assets - whether these are databases, spreadsheets, documents or files.  Wherever you do business, it’s likely that your organisation is sitting on a gold mine of location data but isn't realising its full value.

At Traverse, we help business evolve using Location Intelligence. We have developed our mapping and integration packages so that your business gains:

  • A professionally-managed, world-class location intelligence platform

  • High quality and accessible data from virtually any source, especially your own

  • Easy to understand maps, dashboards and widgets for rapid insights and operational efficiencies

Vision Zero Dashboard  shows current traffic conditions along major roads, including recently reported accidents, in New York City

Vision Zero Dashboard shows current traffic conditions along major roads, including recently reported accidents, in New York City