Modern technology has become so relevant in our daily lives, we keep small computers in our pockets. Most of us are always connected to social media, and some aren’t sure how we’d go without it anymore. Everything is conducted online, from education to paying bills to buying groceries to finding entertainment. What we do online is also recorded and collected, not exactly tracking our every move but certainly getting to know the demographic better.

Data is collected from users from a number of fronts and for a variety of reasons. Most of the time, data is used to connect a consumer with a business, starting a relationship both parties hope will be profitable. One of the easier ways to make these connections is to gather data based on the consumer’s location in relation to the business or companies of a similar nature.

What Is Location Data?

Location data is most likely known for the direct advertisements. If you’ve been to a business only to immediately get a coupon for the very same company through your phone, then you witnessed some of the magic of location data. However, location data can be used for far more than just advertising.

The data of those sharing their location through their devices is what creates location data, which gives businesses a way to pinpoint consumers in their area and cater directly to them. The data can also be matched with other information from the same device, giving businesses a loose profile of the population in their area.

The importance of location data comes from knowing your customers. Not knowing what a consumer wants can destroy a business, but knowing what they need today and tomorrow can be extremely profitable. When asked how important location data is to success, 66 percent of businesses answered very or extremely important, while 78 percent said important in the next year and 85 percent said important in the next three years.

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Applications and Uses

Location data changes the game of advertising. Sending personalized ads to consumers as soon as they need them and not sending them when they don’t can be great for business. Advertising isn’t the only door location data opens, though. For the most relevant use, location data provides research on a business’s consumer base and area demographics.

Location data helps those about to go into business, too. When considering where to open said business, location is one of the key aspects. If you have the fortune to pick your area, be sure to check on the location data first and be able to predict trends over the next few years. Lots of research should be done before leasing or buying space for your business so you can make the best possible decision.

Business mapping is another useful tool in the location data arsenal. This means creating an actual map of your demographic and target customer base, finding what areas need more of your business and what branches aren’t pulling their weight. With advances in technology, business mapping is more user-friendly and easier than ever before.

Challenges

One of the major challenges in location data is in how the information is collected. Data works best by getting an accurate profile on the consumer, but customers using various devices to interact with the store create holes in their information. Using a computer and a mobile device to browse and then buying in person leaves the business to connect the dots about the consumer on their own. For the customer, they may be getting ads for an item they already own.

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Location data is not a cure-all for businesses and can’t be accurate about any particular aspect. While data certainly sets a visible path, there are no set guidelines in the information. The data must be collected, understood and implemented accordingly. Trying to set standards too rigid can be detrimental.

Unfortunately, not all the staff in a business understands data. Top company officials may want more information, while personnel may be left confused by what’s needed. Data cannot be implemented in a single day, and the effects will certainly take longer to see. For data to really work in a business, everyone needs to understand as much as they can. Communication is important to keep a business running.

How Data Can Help You

Location data is one of the more prominent ways businesses can connect with the consumer base. By tying together the digital and physical world, everyone can find benefits in their economic standing.

For consumers, gathering location data may sound odd at first glance, but the conveniences are endless. For businesses, not utilizing the information available can put you behind in the market. Location data can help everyone who wants to get an edge on business, customers and companies alike. If you want to get involved, now is the best time to start.


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