Location data allows companies to incorporate geographical information into their analytical processes to drive more informed business decisions.
Location data is an important part of business intelligence. Based on local economies, demographics, and other factors, companies use trend analysis to determine where to open new locations or hubs.
With the right tools, nearly anyone can harness this data for new insights to help drive productivity. In this article, we’ll explore the basics of location-based analytics, its benefits, and see how companies implement it in the real world.
What is location-based analytics?
By combining spatial analysis with traditional analytics, location-based analytics leverages geographical data to build a more comprehensive overview of operations, customers, and markets.
This information allows companies to better understand how their products or services perform across various regions so they can make informed decisions about where to invest resources. By studying demographic, economic, and lifestyle data in potential target areas, businesses can create customized strategies tailored to specific markets.
Modern advancements in technology — maps with up-to-date geographic information system (GIS) data and real-time intelligent vehicle telematics in particular — have made these tools increasingly sophisticated, with the capability to offer insights on an extremely local level.
This means you can make rapid business decisions and adapt to ever-changing market conditions, even on a day-to-day basis, because GIS systems overlay business-relevant information onto a map, making it easy to spot how local features relate to business assets, transactions, and activity to reveal patterns that you may easily overlook without this visual cue.
Benefits of location-based analytics
Location-based analytics furnish you with actionable consumer insights using new data as well as data you already had but might otherwise have overlooked.
Some of the benefits you can realize by integrating location-based analytics into your business processes include:
1. Localized intelligence
You can make decisions based on information specific to your operating area, to set yourself up for success across varying regional conditions.
This is most useful for companies venturing into new areas or ones looking to deal with regional changes that would affect their performance, such as population density and income.
2. Real-world context
Having your analytical findings overlayed onto a map makes it easier to connect to customers in the real world.
A combined visual representation of how and where your company performs unites this information and offers clearer possibilities for you to connect data points that might otherwise seem disparate. (In fact, visual information is 75% of what our brains take in, so a good visualization can often help remove barriers in your insight-making process.)
You can apply this information to allocate your company's resources depending on what kind of growth you want to see and where you want it to happen.
For example, a company running a fleet of service vehicles armed with an up-to-date heatmap could establish a dispatch hub closer to where most service requests come from to ensure that operations run smoothly.
3. Easier tracking
For fleet managers, integrating analytics with location-based mapping gives a clearer picture of their team's activities. They can see where the drivers are in real-time, alongside where they've been and whether they've been idle for longer than usual.
Moreover, your organization can implement geofencing rules to keep drivers from venturing into/beyond predetermined areas, with an alert going out as soon as a violation occurs. Additional insights from location data could notify the manager about speeding, reckless driving, and crashes.
4. Improved visibility
Data gathered by a location-based analytics system offers greater system-wide visibility, whether of the customer base or of internal operations. Internally, managers can better see how they manage their resources. Externally, they can evaluate if their allocated resources are making an impact.
These insights are useful for improving business practices, as they offer an additional layer of understanding on top of your existing knowledge base.
5. Optimized fleet management
A robust location-based analytics solution like CalAmp can help fleet managers get the most out of the massive amounts of data they already have from their operations.
GPS trackers on trucks update their position in real-time, and the location intelligence software can automatically supply the driver with information such as shorter routes to take or detours to avoid congestion and construction.
Having these go out automatically frees the fleet manager from having to direct each driver individually, boosting efficiency.
Features of location-based analytics platforms
A robust location intelligence solution should have all the tools you need to extract the most value out of it.
The most vital features are:
1. Precision asset tracking
Advanced telematics solutions like our CalAmp Application let you pinpoint the exact location of assets in real-time, whether they're powered or unpowered. They also provide advanced mapping visualizations that show you relevant information such as weather conditions, traffic data, and charging or fueling stations.
2. Transparent monitoring
With location-based analytics, you can monitor your assets without requiring manual disclosure. For instance, a fleet manager can set up their telematics software to alert them if a truck deviates from an approved route, stops, or has its doors opened at an unauthorized location.
These go a long way towards improving record keeping, preventing theft, and enforcing internal chain of custody policies.
3. End-to-end visibility
Location-based analytics allows you to see into your entire supply chain so you know how your products and services move from end to end.
On the logistics side, you can track when cargo leaves or arrives at its destination, with the ability to attach documentation as required. In operations that cover vast distances, you can employ diverse networking options to stay connected, from WiFi and GPS to roaming cellular in the form of 2G, 3G, and 4G LTE.
There are benefits for fulfillment, too, as location-based insights let you communicate shipment statuses to customers more accurately so they're not caught off-guard by disruptions.
4. Data-driven intelligence
The accurate and fact-based insights you get with location-based analytics give you the confidence you need to make better-informed business decisions.
For example, a hospital could study a heat map of where the most requests for emergency services come from and station more ambulances near those areas.
With deeper analytics, they could also develop a schedule that responds to dynamic factors, e.g., focus on commercial areas during the day and residential areas at night.
Fleet management features could also apply in this scenario, as ambulance drivers across the system could receive real-time traffic updates so they make it to their destinations faster.
Location-based analytics success stories
All over the world, location intelligence is revamping ambulance services, but you can replicate the fundamentals of the practice within a host of other industries.
At one leading U.S. residential cleaning company franchise, missed appointments were a significant driver of customer loss. Although the franchise equipped their vehicles with navigation systems, it was up to the drivers to program each destination manually.
The corporate office developed a proprietary on-time arrival system, which they integrated with CalAmp’s web-based commercial fleet management solution. The franchise improved scheduling, routing, navigation, and field updates by using location-based data.
The addition of a messaging system made sure that the office could communicate any schedule changes to personnel in the field immediately.
Location-based analytics helps businesses make the most of their resources and data. By leveraging location data to gain new insights into how they manage their resources, users can identify inefficiencies and highlight areas for improvement.
With features like precision asset tracking, transparent monitoring, and end-to-end visibility, these solutions enable companies to optimize their fleets, increase customer satisfaction, and improve ROI.
Contact a telematics specialist from CalAmp to request a demo today.