For some time, business intelligence has been at the fore of many businesses as an effective tool for making data-driven decisions. Business intelligence has worked so well for those who have implemented it holistically. Business intelligence systems analyse business data and produce easy- to-understand reports, including performance measures, among other business metrics and trends. The critical components of business intelligence include descriptive analytics, performance benchmarking, data mining and process analysis. However, while business intelligence is good, it has limitations, especially in the locational aspects of a business. Given this challenge, Location Intelligence comes as a solution. Business intelligence helps businesses understand why and how specific business interactions occur but why things occur where they do is location intelligence. With location intelligence, there is now a combination of business intelligence and the locational aspects that affect a business.

Location data is becoming of growing importance to businesses. Location intelligence refers to using location data in combination with a company’s internal data to improve decision-making. With location intelligence, businesses can make informed, data-driven decisions, improving their underlying business processes and customer experience. Location intelligence is already changing how businesses operate. Most of the data maintained by businesses has a location component. Business interaction happens within spaces and location intelligence helps to analyse the intricacies of such relationships and the surrounding context from a spatial perspective to get hidden and lucrative insights that would have been missed if it were not for location intelligence.

Location intelligence can help identify patterns, risks and opportunities often challenging to see in basic spreadsheet analysis. This can be achieved by combining business intelligence and data about location. Location intelligence goes way beyond geospatial information analysis, and it can visualise data to identify and analyse relationships. It provides analytics and operational solutions across organisations.

The real merit of location data is that it is a common link connecting seemingly disconnected business data clusters. Businesses use mapping and geospatial data to identify the most promising sites for shops, branches, offices or warehouses in light of the location-driven cost considerations and location of both suppliers and customers. Retailers can use demographic data together with proxies for local demand, accessibility and conditions of surrounding road networks and public transportation to identify sites with the most potential within specified potential markets. Other location factors to businesses include consumer demand, traffic counts, traffic generators (shopping centres, hospitals, airports, stadiums), daytime population, competition, complementary businesses, and lifestyle.

The reason for the existence of most businesses is to make a profit which can only be possible when they have access to customers. Therefore, businesses concern themselves with issues like

proximity to customers to ensure they reach as many customers as possible. Below is an example of insights that business owners can acquire about potential trade areas to evaluate if the trade area meets their expectations.

The success of location intelligence is hinged on some elements that need to be accurate so that the whole framework depends on a functional and robust base. These elements include:
• Accuracy of the geospatial data
• Breadth and freshness of the data

  • Cost
    • Compatibility with legacy technological infrastructure.
    When all these elements are at their ideal levels, organisations will benefit from location intelligence.

In this era of big data, the future belongs to those who make data-driven decisions. Organisations that comprehensively take location intelligence on board tend to reap more benefits, including improved data quality, reduced cost, increased revenues, the ability to make better business decisions, and improved, more accurate analysis and reporting.