The Big Data Company: Supporting Location Technology Strategies
The Big Data Company, based in the Netherlands, has been helping companies get the most from location data since their inception two years ago.
They’ve seen continued growth from the outset, and are now active in 20 countries. They use location data in a variety of ways to help large international businesses make better strategic decisions.
Focusing on innovative methods of revenue growth and efficiency using location data has seen them retain some high profile clients – including international fast food chain, McDonalds, and a number of supermarkets.
Let’s take a look at what they bring to the market and break down some of their thoughts about the industry in general – as well as some predictions for the future.
The Big Data Story
The founder of The Big Data Company, Mattijn Bezemer, saw an opportunity to use his decade working in location strategy to create visual representations of physical marketplaces and help clients see through the noise of complex data sets.
He and his two team members decided to apply their combined expertise to develop three core customer offerings – forecasting, sensor analytics, and object characteristic recognition – which support their development of predictive models to strengthen location strategies.
First, their forecasting systems are able to give retailers predictive technology to help plan activity in the market. This could take the form of product offers based on customer movements on particular days of the week, for example.
Secondly, sensor analytics allow Big Data to paint a picture of a particular location in real-time. This has huge potential in the current climate for monitoring and controlling crowds to maintain social distancing.
Finally, their matching algorithms can collate and sift through data to provide companies with groupings of customers based on whatever demographic data is used in the algorithm.
In bringing this expertise to market, The Big Data Company has focused on helping retailers use location strategy to predict potential revenue and success based on an area of operation.
The location information Big Data uses feeds into their mapping algorithm – which also incorporates data about people. The need for good quality data at the start of this process is key and the partnership with Local Eyes helps provide that.
The data used outlines where potential customers live, as well as their personal characteristics – such as age and social background. In combining multiple datasets and layering them on top of location data, an extremely powerful model can be created. Not only is the model bespoke to each client, it is also packaged within a custom-made interface so that it is easily accessible for any customer who is going to use it.
The Big Data Company’s clients access these tools to help them assess how successful a particular location will be as part of their sales strategy – whether they need to gauge a new location for a new store, or simply refine elements of how it operates: such as opening times or discounts based on the day of the week
This is extremely beneficial for brick and mortar retailers who have to make decisions about where to open physical stores. It helps them compete with online retailers. Stores have to be able to position themselves not only in their market but also physically in the real world where they can be best accessed by their customers. By reviewing different potential store locations, a retailer can identify which area is going to provide them with the greatest opportunity.
One concern that The Big Data Company shares with many others in the industry – as well as the population at large – is the nature of data security and the privacy implications of this type of modelling.
The Big Data Company buys all of their data from trusted third parties and this trust is built on ensuring that GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is always adhered to and that user data is only held when necessary and for as long as necessary.
Because this data is required to create detailed models, The Big Data Company and any other organisation which wants to process third party data must seek to stay compliant whilst also getting as much data depth as possible.
The greater the data complexity, the greater the potential depth of insight that can be gained. But this can never be at the cost of a user’s data rights and so striking this balance is at the heart of what The Big Data Company does.
For The Big Data Company, the future means faster access to an abundance of data sources as technology continues to develop. Not only will more data be available faster, it will also be at a much lower cost.
Not only will improvements in user devices strengthen location service offerings, but the evolution of data transfer methods – i.e. 4G to 5G – will see companies look to leverage information closer and closer to real-time. Big Data sees this as a great opportunity not only within retail, especially in hospitality, but also in infrastructure – on real-time traffic, for example where data is used to mitigate transit risk by using data to predict dangerous spots in road networks.
One complication of this massive growth in data availability is that as the amount of data increases, so too does the complexity. This means the models Big Data create to cope with this data have to also increase in complexity. In practical terms, this means that additional expertise is constantly needed to keep pace with the expansion of the data sets.
We’re excited at all the possibilities on the horizon as well as the challenges and we know that working with The Big Data Company will help both of us grow and provide more value for our customers.
At Local Eyes, we’ve been privileged to be able to work with The Big Data Company and consider them a technology partner in our market. All of our interactions have centred around growth, developing new ideas and how to work with one another to achieve our goals.
We can both use each other's expertise to create solutions that benefit our clients. Recently we helped them develop a Points of Interest database with millions of records and assisted with finding the correct structure to best process the data. We’ve acted in an advisory role for Big Data on many of their projects and are looking forward to continuing this cooperative approach in the future.