New Business Models Need Accurate POI Data

As the economies reopen, customers and businesses in the changing neighborhoods and sprawling megacities would need accurate POI information, says Mike Davie, Founder & CEO, Quadrant, in an interview to Geospatial World.

BY Pulkit Chaudhary

How has Covid-19 impacted the location data industry?

Covid-19 has greatly impacted how people interact with their surroundings. Their consumption patterns have drastically changed, as many service providers have moved online to sustain themselves. Amidst this, we see an increased demand and use for location data to understand mobility patterns, ensure the availability of public services and more.

But there has been a bigger impact on the Points-of-Interest (POI) data side. POIs are the digital representations of all places in the physical space, and this data has rapidly become outdated as many businesses have shut down or moved to digital operations. As economies reopen, keeping up with all these changes is going to be a challenge for businesses that depend on POI data to operate.

Can you share some use cases of POI data, and are you seeing higher demand in certain industries?

We see an increased demand for accurate and up-to-date POI data in many industries, especially in last-mile and food delivery, supply and logistics for retail and online markets, ridesharing, mapping, and navigation. Whole businesses depend on the quality of POI data, which can determine a company’s bottom line. Business models have changed in the last 1.5 years, so we see this as the new normal.

Trends like re-urbanization in the developed world or the breakneck-speed growth in Southeast Asia are also in full force as economies reopen. Customers and businesses in these changing neighborhoods and sprawling megacities need accurate POI information.

How is re-urbanization impacting location data companies and consumers?

A great deal. Datasets which were considered high-quality a year ago are suddenly outdated. Re-urbanization is both an opportunity and a challenge for businesses and local governments. Where are the new concentrations of purchasing power? Where should a grocery chain or a bank expand next? Which are the areas where public services like transportation or healthcare need to be recalibrated?
The best way to answer these questions is by combining up-to-date POI data with mobile location data. Using sophisticated analyses, trends like re-urbanization become immediately visible, and these actionable insights can be translated into business or government decisions.

By analyzing a range of spatial datasets, brands and companies can gain location insights such as audience saturation, consumption of specific product categories, spending power, and even brand affinity

Where do you think innovation is most needed in the location data industry?

In two areas: compliance and POI data. We discussed POI before, the challenges are very clear there. With regards to compliance, with the introduction of consent requirements by privacy regulations like GDPR, we will soon reach a point where data sourced without explicit user consent will become worthless.
We are addressing both issues. We have built a proprietary data collection platform, Geolancer, where freelancers — Geolancers — add POIs manually while walking around in their neighbourhood, and periodically verify them. This way we will be able to provide the most up-to-date and verified information to data buyers while also helping small, local businesses be seen. We have also launched our own consent management platform, QCMP, packaged together with our newly designed app monetisation SDK to provide ethically sourced location data with a real-time audit trail.

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