What is Location-Based Business Data?

The terms location-based data, geodata, business data are interchangeable, in my opinion. For newbies to business mapping these terms may be intimidating. Like asking a person to attend the prom with you or having to present a third grade oral book report. No? Well, trust me. For some, location-based business data is intimidating.

Usually Map Business Online customers import location data related to customers or sales. That typically means a business’s geodata represents a customer’s address or ZIP code. Sales dollars are often included in a separate column for color coding. But those extra data columns could be all sorts of stuff – products, costs of goods, contact information, or even birthdays. With the data imported, a business can visualize customers and the associated sales dollars, perhaps aggregating data by ZIP code or territory for display of numeric totals on the map.

Location data can mean many things depending upon your business. Someone new to business mapping might ask themselves, what aspects of my business constitutes location-based data? Here are some examples:

Sports Team Marketing Data
A marketing manager of an NFL franchise might be very interested in viewing their business as a marketing map visualization. In their case, the location datasets could be:

  • All the NFL affiliated stadium locations across the country. These locations could be the center point for market area definition. Once imported into the business map, drive time analysis could be applied to further define realistic marketing areas.
  • Actual NFL ticket subscribers by address could be another location-based dataset. However, these could total millions of customers making imports more difficult and visualizations overwhelming. Perhaps an analysis based on known demographics would be just as enlightening. Extend that thought – there maybe NFL specific demographics, like the number of Americans with active 401K’s who attend games, by ZIP code that could be imported for color shaded views. Who knows?
  • Ticket buyer surveys may help define the average drive time buyers are willing to drive to take in an NFL game. Flyers in local newspapers and media advertising can be directed to those specific drive time areas, covering a broad section of the population well, but limiting marketing spend to likely buyers.
  • Trusted hotel locations around the nation with associated key transportation points could be very helpful in logistical planning for traveling teams.

Vending Statistics
Vending machines are carefully monitored to assess what candy moves and what items sit unsold. Machines are likely tracked by latitude and longitude coordinates or even GPS.

  • Machine location data can be uploaded into a map for demographic analysis or analysis by facility type. Which candy items sell the best in a school location? How about in a hospital? Assisted living centers tend to sell a lot of Rolaids and hard candies but not so many Milky Ways due to denture loss (maybe?).
  • Refrigeration statistics can be monitored to assure proper cooling is applied to certain soda and juice selections.
  • Machine triggers can be established to monitor trouble areas for vandalism and theft by location.
  • Business map users can create optimized multi-stop vehicle routes to organize vending machine systems checks.

Construction Site Monitoring

Monitoring construction sites is a critical process for construction companies or businesses that cater to construction. Location-based data helps construction managers organize their monitoring by location.

  • Address or lat/lon coordinate site locations can be visualized on a map and color coded to reflect job status or label data enhanced with last visit date.
  • Material delivery drop-off location data can be compiled into an on map check-list of material availability for work assignments.  Color coded statuses can be used to indicate go or no-go status for work to be done.
  • Use job site location data to create optimized routes by day or week, organizing site inspections. Share route maps with constituents.

Retail Store Business Data

Retail store chains may find a variety of location-based datasets within their business systems. Certainly, customer and related sales data would be applied regularly. But retail does not live by customers alone.

  • A list of all store and warehouse locations is a baseline dataset for any business map used for logistics planning. Facility location data will be used to generate routes between each warehouse and each store to assess delivery times and help define special delivery costs.
  • Each store location should be required to generate drive time maps that analyze the surrounding demographics (income, age ranges, gender, and ethnicities) by drive time area. Drive time zones of 15, 30, 45 and 60 minutes would be basic areas of interest for marketing campaign management
  • A simple coupon flyer placed in the local paper to track the ZIP codes for popular products on sale, can be tracked by ZIP code? In this way, a dot density map of active ZIP codes could be developed. Tracked over time, this analysis will inform planners which ZIP codes feed the most customers for specific products or product types, impacting product selection and future outlet plans.

Service Businesses

Map Business Online caters to multiple service industries. Especially popular are landscaping companies, pool maintenance businesses, and fuel delivery services. Once again, customer address data is a primary location-based dataset.

  • Customer location scheduling may warrant the creation of territories or delivery zones. By organizing customers locations into Zones, service technicians are better able to plan for service activities and support materials. Home locations could be color coded based on unique requirements or maintenance status.
  • Service organizations often turn into Franchise businesses. Use business mapping to develop franchise territories. Tracking franchisees by location will allow your business to grow responsibly, organizing which areas are available, which areas are committed, and what the most lucrative new areas are for growth.
  • Service companies should consider encouraging field technicians to collect address locations of potential customers for sales follow-up.

The chances are that your business has location-based data just waiting to be harvested and plotted on a map. Make your location information sing by putting business mapping to work. Supplement your analysis with third-party SIC code industry segment data available through RealDataset.com which can help define your best new market potential by industry or geography.

For a healthier business, make business mapping with your location-based data a habit.

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Contact: Geoffrey Ives geoffives@spatialteq.com or Jason Henderson jhenderson@spatialteq.com

About Geoffrey Ives

Geoffrey Ives lives and works in southwestern Maine. He grew up in Rockport, MA and graduated from Colby College. Located in Maine since 1986, Geoff joined DeLorme Publishing in the late 1990's and has since logged twenty-five years in the geospatial software industry. In addition to business mapping, he enjoys playing classical & jazz piano, gardening, and taking walks in the Maine mountains with his Yorkshire Terrier named Skye.
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