For brick and mortar businesses, the saying “location is everything” is generally accepted wisdom. As we embrace this data-driven age, location is still hugely important, but in ways we never imagined.
The term “geospatial data” may sound “techy” but the concept is simple. It is data that contains some kind of location information attached to it. This is specific location information that can be geo referenced to place the data in context relative to its surroundings. This can be map coordinates, a postal code, or even a road name.
Location-specific data is opening up a world of analysis and insight that enables business, organisations and governments to plan and predict demand by location.
“Location is everything” used to mean that the success of a retail business was absolutely dependent on where it was located. Savvy business people knew that if you placed a restaurant in a specific location it would be a great spot, but a stationary shop in the same location might not fare as well.
However, with location-based analytics, that is exactly the type of determination we can now make. Companies like Kinetica are combining real-time analytics with geospatial visualization to put data in location context to drive decision making.
Using the example of locating a stationary shop in a place where restaurants have previously been positioned, how could Kinetica help to determine if it would be a successful location?
Here are just some of the ways. Using an active map, business analysts can draw a walking distance perimeter around the location and view how many offices and white-collar businesses–such as lawyers or accountants–are in walking distance. Then, within the same perimeter, they can look for schools and educational establishments. They can also visualise bus routes that pass by the retail location and identify similar businesses along those bus routes. This can help analysts to understand if there are enough sources of business for the stationary store and if it would be worth opening in that location.
The example is simple, but the aim is to show the power of location-based analytics. The concepts in the example hold true for looking for patterns across millions of people, devices, and things. This technology can be used to show traffic flow in a city or airplane flight paths in a way that standard databases cannot. Adding location information to place data in context on a map , visualising it, and enabling real-time analysis is a game changer.
The amount of geospatial data we create is vast and growing. From the proliferation of mobile phones and connected devices, the world has billions of location-data sources. Kinetica is working with companies like Dell Technologies to deliver advanced geospatial analytics solutions that not only handle billions of records, but also visualise them in real time. This is made possible by leveraging GPUs for accelerated parallel computing, which allows the instant visualisation and analysis of today’s location-based data.
This new GPU-accelerated technology is making a significant impact. During the recent hurricane disasters, relief organisations have been able to build real-time maps of affected areas and identify affected people by using sources like mobile phone data. Police forces around the word are able to build crime maps where users can view crimes by area. Retailers can view purchases by location over time and analyse which products to sell where and when.
Now, with the advent of Kinetica’s GPU engine and Dell’s GPU hardware, huge volumes of can be visualised and queried in seconds. No need to analyse spreadsheets or digest streams of numbers. An interactive dashboard displaying data in geographic context provides critical insights that can help to save lives, improve public safety, increase supply chain efficiency or simply help you pick the right location for your business.
Data is already critical for companies. The next step is understanding how the environment around us affects our operations and the role of location in decision making.
To find out more about how companies like Kinetica and Dell EMC can assist you with location-based analytics, click here.
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