8 Site Intelligence Use Cases: Connecting The Dots Between Location And Human Activity

Optimizing operational efficiency, driving revenue, and transforming business with Site Intelligence

Do you have visibility into human activity patterns at any commercial, industrial, or office building? Do you know where your visitors are coming from, how long they are staying, or where they are going? Perhaps you are interested in finding the best location for your franchise. Real-time data about who is visiting your site and visitors' interest can be revealing! A location intelligence solution built on top of a geospatial analytics platform can provide answers to your questions about physical spaces. Site Intelligence connects the dots between people’s behavior and physical location, producing powerful insights. These insights enable you to predict business performance, build better financial models, find cost-saving opportunities, and meet demand accurately.

What is Site Intelligence

Site intelligence (SI) extracts meaningful insights at any physical location such as an office space, a retail store, or a bank by analyzing human behavior. SI leverages location data, often combining multiple data sources such as demographics or connected car data to deliver actionable insights. It enables you to answer essential questions about your target area of interest:      

  • What is happening around my site?
  • What can I learn about my consumers’ interaction with my site?
  • How does a site compare to other similar or competitive sites?
  • Can we detect patterns of life and visitation trends that suggest a healthy or unhealthy flow of people?
  • How loyal are my customers? Who am I sharing them with?
  • Where do the people visiting a particular area come from? Where do they go later? How far did they travel to get there? Do they visit me from home or where they work?

Thus SI allows you to build hypotheses, extract geographic insights for research or validate the research empowering you to make better decisions about your properties. With SI, you can analyze foot traffic activity, commuter distance & demographics of known areas of interest. Whether you are interested in trend measurement or movement analysis, you will need the right set of algorithms, a solid infrastructure capable of ingesting geospatial data, analytical capabilities, and data partners to be a location intelligence leader. An end-to-end platform for all geospatial analytics needs can take the complexities associated with location data.

Which industry verticals are seeing the most significant impact from SI?

Several industry sectors use mapping and geospatial data to enhance their business processes. For example, recent research from BCG proves that location data is already changing how businesses operate. A survey conducted by BCG underscored the growing importance of location data for Financial Services, Retail, Logistics, and Real Estate verticals. Several years ago, geospatial data used to be a “nice to have” category, but now, it is a must-have element to propel growth, drive revenue and offer a personalized customer experience. Today commercial real estate, banking, and financial services have dedicated teams of GIS analysts, data scientists, innovation, and research professionals that rely on SI and location data to drive operational efficiency and improve profit margins.

Are there specific examples of enterprises that use SI today? What are some of the use cases?

Avison Young, a global commercial real estate services firm, uses site intelligence to assist brokers in their day-to-day operation to research owned and target property. The Avison Young team has developed The Vitality Index, a database powered by the Orbital Insight platform that creates daily foot traffic estimates from representative office occupiers in 20+ different cities. The customized site intelligence solution aggregates anonymized cell phone location data geofenced to unique locations to estimate total foot traffic in each city and industry. The data goes back to June 2019 in the U.S. and the beginning of 2020 in Canada, allowing comparisons to pre-pandemic levels.

RBC, the largest bank in Canada and a multinational financial services company, measured real-time foot traffic data through US shopping centers in 28 states to create a leading indicator for retail sales and found a 59% positive correlation between foot traffic and retail sales. This serves as a leading indicator of potential inflection points and provides conviction in the direction of change expected in monthly headline numbers, showcasing the potential with site intelligence.

Other everyday use cases include:

  1. Identify ideal commercial or industrial site location: Understand optimally located commercial or industrial facilities. This includes understanding variables such as labor availability.
  2. Retail Insights: Understand which stores are seeing an increase in foot traffic. Use this information to build into your model for predicting sales.
  3. Property Analysis: Understand the visitor makeup of any individual properties by gathering information such as home location, work location, demographics, dwell time, cross-shopping, revisit time of each visitor.
  4. Private Equity Acquisition/Due Diligence: Understand which stores are performing/underperforming, so you know which ones to shut down/keep open before an investment decision in an asset.
  5. Multifamily acquisitions: Visualize trends to show visitor household income as an indicator for rent growth over time. Using the demographics data, identify increases in rent before they happen.
  6. Redevelopment: Using property analysis and understanding parking patterns and more, locate underperforming properties and, therefore, ripe to redevelop into a combination of multifamily housing.
  7. Consumer Insights: Are your consumers loyal to your brand? How often do they visit a competitor? Utilizing a SI solution will allow you to see the patterns of life around your physical locations.
  8. Urban redevelopment: Using geolocation data, understand the impact of new commercial areas to local businesses or the impact of major closures are to surrounding areas.

Often introduced as a cost-saving initiative, Site Intelligence solutions represent a new breed of competitive intelligence, research, or strategic planning tools that can lead to further growth opportunities. By leveraging near-real-time location data, these solutions provide timely insights that enable you to understand people’s behavior at a physical location, understand the economic activity, optimize the facility, and show you trends to capitalize on for better profit margins.

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