Return to Blog

How Businesses Can Gain a Competitive Edge with Location Data

Originally published on Analytics Insight on November 20.

Today’s world is hyper-connected, and data is a currency arguably more valuable than any other. By 2021, there will be 27B networked devices in use worldwide, a quarter of which will be smartphones. Integrated within each of those devices is the power of location data, which is enhancing many of the technologies that consumers have come to rely on. Consumers today expect their digital experiences to be not only personalized for their tastes and habits but also tailored based on context – where they’ve been and where they are in the world at any given moment.

Understanding, analyzing and leveraging location-based data enable businesses to provide highly personalized experiences that consumers have come to expect. Here are three examples of how location data can help businesses become more competitive.


Rideshare is a rising mode of transportation, with companies like Lyft, Uber, Bird, Lime and many others gaining market share in cities worldwide. Per Statista, user penetration is at 17.8% in 2018 and is expected to hit 23.1% by 2022.

Rideshare services rely on two types of data in order to deliver a smooth user experience. The first is accurate point of interest (POI) data, like businesses, restaurants, hotels, tourist locations, and many more. When a rider inputs a destination, they want the app to know exactly where they are and where they want to go, without having to identify individual addresses. Quality POI data, including numerous place attributes, makes that possible.

Second is good predictive analytics data, which ensures that rides (or modes of transportation) are available where and when users demand it. What good is a dockless scooter if there are none around when you need to pick one up for a ride to work? In order to provide a good user experience, rideshare apps need to supply vehicles based on forecasted demand – a problem that location data uniquely solves. By understanding human traffic patterns, identifying popular pickup/drop off points, popular times of day and day of the week, rideshare companies can ensure they meet the demands of their consumers.

Though 96 percent of Americans browse online, the majority (65 percent) of the average shopper’s budget is still spent in the store. What’s more, 49 percent of people don’t make a purchase online because they can’t see, touch and feel the product.

Brick and mortar locations are still incredibly important to retailers, and the placement of their stores is critical in the competitive shopping landscape. Sometimes a store visit will be based on convenience – close to work, home, or other frequented areas. In other instances, shoppers may travel a great distance for a store that’s important to them. Location data can uncover these insights, and help retailers in better understanding who is visiting their store, when, and compare foot traffic to competitive stores.

Understanding nearby building density and business categories, foot traffic patterns and competitor locations is an important factor in making smart, data-driven decisions when selecting a new location for any brick and mortar asset.

For example, WeWork decided to explore methods of using data to determine demographic qualities of a building’s surrounding area. By funneling Factual’s Global PlacesTM data into their internal mapping platform, WeWork used polygons to quickly group surrounding points of interest into categories such as bars, coffee shops, and restaurants. This data enabled automation of building amenity profiles to gauge the energy of particular neighborhoods with the click of a button and helped inform WeWork’s decision-making strategy when considering new locations.

Not all data are created equal. Quantity does not equal quality, and data is constantly changing as the real-world evolves. Stores open and close. People move continuously. Device lifecycles become increasingly short. Curating massive amounts of continuously changing data is no small feat.

High-quality data is essential in giving businesses a competitive edge, and location data is among the most powerful available. That’s why Factual offers high-quality places and people movement data to businesses worldwide. Factual’s Global Places data includes more than 130MM points of interest (POIs) across 52 countries in 29 languages, and its Observation Graph delivers movement data from more than 650MM verified devices worldwide.

Factual aims to deliver data that powers business innovation around the globe, which is why we are the location data company the world’s most valuable brands and technology companies trust to understand and intelligently grow their businesses. The power of location data is changing everything, from the way we discover new services to how we access information. Don’t let your business be left behind.

Interested in learning more about Factual data? Contact our team today!