Return to Blog

Recapping Street Fight Summit: Fireside Chat with Factual CEO, Gil Elbaz

Last week, a few of us at Factual had the pleasure of attending Street Fight Summit West. As newcomers to the summit, we found the conference to be a great place to hear what was top of mind for fellow providers and buyers in the location space. The conference delivered a valuable table setting for 2018. We saw consensus on the value of location data now more than ever, and the desire to further innovate on what location intelligence can do for businesses.

Key themes we heard throughout the conference included market demands of location data, the future of local search and brand optimization, closing the attribution loop and proving ROI, and the future of location data in AR and AI. Touching on many of these, our founder and CEO Gil Elbaz sat down for a fireside chat with Andrew Shotland, CEO of Local SEO Guide. He shared his thoughts on why he decided to go into the location data space, how he grew Factual from “just” a local listings business to a global location intelligence provider, and how the company is now providing location intelligence to drive business decisions. Here are some of the highlights.

On why he chose location data
As an entrepreneur at heart, Gil started to feel the “itch” again after the acquisition of his last company to Google. But more so, he witnessed the massive acquisition of data at Google, and believed in the value of using data to make strategic business decisions. Gil said, “I’ve always been a data person, but seeing the intensity within Google of collecting info and not sharing it made me think.” Seeing a future where data would be dominated by a few companies, he set out to create a neutral company that could stand alone and provide high quality data to the rest of the market.



On growing Factual
To grow Factual’s business, a strong places dataset is foundational. Factual went from first aggregating high quality places data to now supporting many of the world’s largest and most respected tech companies, and providing data to 28 out of the top 30 national advertisers, powering their brand campaigns. These companies leverage our Global Places dataset to power their products and make business decisions. Most recently, Factual we drove business intelligence for WeWork by leveraging location data to assess the vibe and walkability of potential WeWork locations. Their goal was to profile expansion areas for a better understanding of the neighborhood.

As we’ve looked to continue growth, Factual has layered in new technology and device data to understand how consumers are interacting with businesses and its effects on ROI. We see trillions of observations across hundreds of millions of devices in our Observation Graph dataset.

On quality
The connective thread muttered throughout the Street Fight Summit was around the need for accuracy and quality in location data. Ensuring accuracy in core location attributes, such as place name and telephone number, is incredibly important, as they’re key to successfully leveraging location data as a business. But it has become increasingly difficult to get right as more and more data floods the marketplace.  

Accuracy in core attributes impact every aspect of how a business leverages location data, but are increasingly challenging to get right as there is more and more data available. Factual continuously focuses on these “core attributes” in our dataset.  We strive to ensure that when our partners are delivering business recommendations through their services, or navigating to the right destination in their cars, they can be sure that the information is accurate. “Our goal is to have the highest-quality location data across all countries,” Elbaz said. As the industry collectively rises to the challenge with accuracy, Factual continues to aim to be the leader in providing quality location intelligence.

To learn more about our data, visit our Global Places page or contact a team member.