Location Data Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay Precisely has launched Dynamic Demographics. It combines the location data that Precisely holds with mobile location data. Once subscribed, businesses will be able to understand better how people move between different locations over time. It will offer valuable insights for a variety of use cases. Enterprise Times spoke to Dan Adams, Senior Vice President – Data Strategy & Operations for Precisely, about the announcement.

Precisely already had a rich portfolio of location data, including boundaries and demographics of the people living in specific areas. This is anonymised; with the addition of equally anonymised mobile data, organisations will better understand how target audiences move around depending upon the time of day, day of the week, or public holidays.

For instance, understanding where people living in specific demographics go during the weekend can influence shop locations. The data extracted is also based on GPS data, and therefore even the routes travelled can be analysed.Dynamic Demographics - Precisely

Adams commented: “Dynamic Demographics delivers unique insight into not only population movement, but how it differs amongst various demographic groups. The ground-breaking combination of Precisely’s extensive demographics portfolio and high-quality mobility data raises the bar for demographic data products. This information provides never-before-seen insight that enables our customers to make impactful, trusted decisions with the context of how populations move between locations.”

In the beginning

Dan Adams, VP of Data at Precisely (Image Credit: LinkedIn)
Dan Adams, VP of Data at Precisely

Enterprise Times asked Adams where the idea for this enhancement came from. He replied, “We’ve always worked with aggregated anonymized demographic data, but it’s pretty static. You may update it every year, get population updates, estimates and projections around that population in a particular location.

“We’ve seen several things over the years where organisations have tried to understand how those people move around within the physical environment. Where do they visit? Where did it work? Those types of things, and how they influence many decisions, maybe with retailers, financial services, and the public sector.

“We saw an opportunity where we can merge our demographic information with aggregated location data. Information that’s coming from devices that move around to be able to see how those general populations move around? How does that change over time? How does that influence that?”

What is Dynamic Demographics?

To gather the mobile location data, Precisely partners with a third party that captures the mobile location data. The company partners with application vendors that request whether mobile users are willing to share GPS data to collect the information. Once the data is collected, it is currently aggregated by region and passed to Precisely quarterly. Enterprise Times asked Adams whether it would take real-time data and work with governments on critical incidents

“There are organisations already doing that. It’s not where we would particularly target ourselves. When it comes to the public sector, we were thinking more around how we help create their emergency plans, rather than the live notifications.”

The press release states that the mobile data for the Netherlands is available now with Australia, Germany, and the United Kingdom next. Enterprise Times asked Adams about those timescales and also when it would be available in the US?

“We’re targeting Germany, Australia and the UK before the end of 2021. Then we’re looking at early next year, for the US and then several southern European countries.”

What about Pricing?

“We are working on pricing. At the moment, we don’t have a published price list. But our thoughts are pretty much in line with how we reprice things at the moment. Customers will usually sign up for a three-year subscription with an annual subscription fee associated with that. That will be in line with the extent of their use data segments. Fairly small companies with a smaller user base will be probably paying less than some of the larger consumers of the data.”

Why is this important?

Dynamic Demographics provides several interesting use cases. Within retail and banking, it can help determine the location of stores and branches. For public sector organisations, services planning will benefit from understanding where people are at given times and days. Insurance companies will better understand risks, especially in conjunction with weather data.

One early adopter is an advertising services company. Ocean Outdoor Netherlands is determining the location of marketing efforts for its customers using the data. Marlies Smits, Head of Marketing at Ocean Outdoor, commented,  “Understanding human mobility patterns is a key consideration for our business. Dynamic Demographics from Precisely helps to provide actionable intelligence about the demographics of consumers that visit particular locations.

“With that data, we can better understand and target key customer profiles via our displays and be of better service to our clients, while driving campaign impact, awareness, and innovation with our digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising.”

What’s next

“We want to start to get more detail around particular types of destinations, Being able to use that data with our points of interest data, to talk not just about demographics, but lifestyle and behaviour information. If you see people visiting the upper end of fashion retail, or they regularly go to certain types of leisure events. It is being able to talk about those behaviours and lifestyle information by the destination, in the same way, that we’re talking about the demographics.”

Can Dynamic Demographics demonstrate the population over time in a video format?

“We would love to, but it isn’t there yet. An animated version of that is something that we want to look at.”

Looking further forward, what is your vision?

“The vision is first of all-around coverage. Can we get a number of countries covered? Then it’s around driving how more timely can we make the data? We started quarterly. Can we shorten that time scale? Also, around much more SaaS-based or DaaS based delivery directly into applications or into querying systems? Then what other information can we build into that movement data as well.”

Adding Dynamic Demographics to wildfire data

This is also the second addition to the data platform that Precisely has added in recent weeks. It recently acquired Anchor Point, a specialist in modelling and consulting around wildfires. Will dynamic demographics link to Anchor Point information?

“Anchor Point is really interesting. The first part we’re going to look at with wildfire is mixing it with our Dynamic Weather. Then you can look at smoke plumes. If you then start to mix in dynamic data, you can start to look at the potential impacts of a wildfire about popular destinations? How might organisations need to act upon that, particularly organisations with those fixed assets that could be at risk with wildfires? Absolutely, we are going to be looking at how we bring all of our data assets around that wildfire data.”

Enterprise Times: What does this mean

The potential of this announcement is huge. Location data of populations can help guide decision making for numerous sectors when integrated with location and weather data. While some might worry about the compliance, the disconnect between Precisely and the company collating the data, the delay in receiving the data and the way it is aggregated ensures that privacy is not compromised.

Even with just quarterly data, organisations’ insights from the combination will help drive better decision-making. As Precisely continues to enhance the product, it will need to be cautious about the granularity of the data, especially as firms will likely push for greater understanding to maximise revenues across different industries further.

The caveat is whether this is suitable for all demographics. It relies on individuals making their GPS data available from the Apps they use. If those apps are not used by certain demographics or only used by a subset of one, it raises the question of how accurate the insights are. Companies may need to be cautious about assuming the insights are completely correct and may need a second primary source to confirm.


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