If data is the new oil, geo-location data remains one of the greatest untapped resources. Innovative companies like Google, Uber, and Tesla are leading the charge to transform geospatial data extracted from connected devices and sensors into extremely valuable assets and products.
While your enterprise’s success may not hinge on building a fleet of self-driving vehicles, it is likely dependant on how and WHERE customers, employees, and assets interact with each other on a daily basis. In this post, we will explore five facts you need to know to understand the benefits of the Location of Things (LoT).
1. IoT is the Foundation of LoT
“Internet of Things” (IoT) is used to describe how digitizing and connecting objects that we use every day will improve our lives. The byproduct of IoT is a ton of data. Understanding how stationary and moving objects react and relate to each other is both exciting and scary for most people. IoT provides the unique opportunity to measure behavior and patterns using data previously not available. A common thread across all enterprise IoT scenarios is a desire to master using “location” based data (LoT) to streamline operations, build intelligent services and machines, and provide a better customer experience. Today, a high percentage of IoT success stories hinge on the ability to capture, enrich, analyze, and distribute knowledge gained from Location of Things.
IoT endpoints will grow to 30 billion by 2020. -IDC
2. Everyone is a Location-Aware Beacon
Uber disrupted the taxi industry by making vehicles readily available to passengers at the exact time they needed a ride. Drivers and consumers rely on a single location-aware mobile app that makes getting a ride cheap easy 24/7. Anyone with a mobile phone is a location-aware beacon, thanks to the GPS chip inside. Retailers who arm employees with location-aware apps, scanners, and point of sales machines gain a competitive edge by understanding how and when to effectively engage consumers.
“…89% of retailers plan to give their store associates mobile solutions over the next 3 years.”
Source: Retail Dive
3. Field Workers are being Digitalized
The most compelling use for LoT is when multiple “objects” are moving in real time through physical space. IoT is the foundation for autonomous sensors that can analyze unconnected things and perform tasks that traditionally required human intervention. There are countless examples of how retailers are using autonomous robots to scan and move inventory in real-time to boost sales and operational efficiency. Companies that master the use of connected devices in real time will win.
Half of work activities performed today by humans could be automated in another 40 years. -McKinsey Global Institute
4. If you can’t Measure it, you can’t Manage it
When it comes to ROI for LoT, everything hinges on the maturity and efficiency of extracting knowledge from the mountains of data produced by IoT initiatives. Resource and territory planning and asset management are traditional use cases for Location Analytics, but LoT provides a new level of operational efficiency and automation. LoT requires a new class of supporting location analytics that your existing Business Intelligence / Analytics tools cannot support. Measuring the impact of IoT requires adding location data to your existing KPIs and metrics to truly understand how and why things happen.
The goal of Location Analytics is to utilize location, proximity, and distance to understand business impact over time.
Image Source: AOF: Mapify your KPIs podcast
5. Insights-as-a-Service – The Solution for LoT Business Cases
The location data you have available today from your ERP and CRM systems may be enough to provide location-based analytics. However, to provide Insights-as-a-Service (IaaS) to your business, you need to acquire LoT data, external third party data (market data by geography), and your own internal data. Solving data-intensive problems at scale is challenging work, so you can expect leading providers to move from generic tools and IoT services to pre-packaged Insights-as-a-Service solutions.
Over 70% of the larger organizations are already purchasing external data and by 2019 almost 100% of the companies will do the same. -IDC survey
Image Source: Carto
Making sense of LoT data has opened the door to many opportunities for consumers and businesses alike! While advancements in machine learning will help automate cleansing and sifting through data, your success hinges on the same foundational challenge of transforming data into knowledge. All things that can be connected, will be, so it is an exciting time for businesses who use “Location of Things” as a competitive advantage.
If you have an interesting Location of Things initiative, tell us about it below!