Location Metrics

Measuring Human Activities in the Physical World
By LBx Staff | Published August 28, 2013

 

Location and place are part of everyone’s daily lives, but they have never been systematically mea-
sured in real-time—until now. Placed is a location analytics company which focuses on understanding the importance of location by directly measuring the location of mobile devices of individuals. Placed has launched Placed Insights, a rating service that

**LOCATIONOMICS SERIES: METRICS AND ANALYTICS

Location and place are part of everyone’s daily lives, but they have never been systematically measured in real-time—until now. Placed is a location analytics company which focuses on understanding the importance of location by directly measuring the location of mobile devices of individuals. Placed has launched Placed Insights, a rating service that quantifies the paths and places of U.S. consumers through mobile technology, bringing Web analytic-like accuracy to under- standing where people go in the offline world. Similar to what Nielsen has done for TV and comScore has done for online, Placed, has accomplished for the physical world. We interviewed David Shim, CEO of Placed, to learn more about Placed Insights, and to understand how it is a pivotal element of locationomics.

LBx What is Placed Insights?

SHIM Placed Insights is a rating service based on the largest opt-in location panel in the world reaching 70,000+ consumers. We recruited a panel of 70,000 mobile users who each pass approximately 1000 locations per day, measuring 70 million locations a day in aggregate. Our models are designed to measure significant locations, while maximizing battery life. Battery life of the mobile phone is a significant issue for mobile users. No one likes their phone battery to drain after just two hours due to an app, and Placed solves that pain point.

 

For example if an individual is going 60 miles per hour there is a low probability that they will come to a complete stop in the next minute, thus Placed measures location, but opts for location sourced from cell phone triangulation (lower battery drain) instead of GPS. However when the user slows down to 10 miles per hour, stops, or goes from driving to walking, the model throttles up the higher quality location reads (GPS) because there is a higher probability of significant location in the near future. People are constantly generating location data when they are walking, shopping, or driving. All of this activity generates data that becomes attributes assigned to an individual’s behavior in a particular place.

The Information Economy is nothing like the Industrial Economy, yet to date, businesses have been relying on old ways of understanding and modeling customer and therefore market dynamics.

LBx  Why is measuring human behavior in the physical or offline world so important?

SHIM  If a company is interested in targeting television ads to females, it will likely turn to Nielsen, which has recruited a panel to measure television habits for the U.S. If a company is interested in reaching that same audience on the Web, they would turn to click stream data sourced from a panel recruited by ComScore. But if a company is interested in real-time information about customer behavior in a changing physical world, that has not been possible until Placed. What is important about measuring real world human behavior in near real-time is that it establishes a baseline to measure change. For example, why is a retailer seeing a drop in foot traffic? Placed can readily answer

the question by quantifying where else their customers go, how that compares to previous months, and what the competition looks like.

 

 

Mobile data, measured through smartphones, provides an additional layer of data that is directly measured, while avoiding the pitfalls often associated with surveys and self- reported measurement. This is an opportunity to shift from a world of anecdotal measurement, which is traditionally reliant upon human recall, surveys, and journals, to a directly measured world where these biases are removed, so that for the first time, we can truly under- stand and quantify what is going on in our world. This information is critical for businesses to adapt to a dynamic world where big data is now the norm versus the exception. The Information Economy is nothing like the Industrial Economy, yet to date, businesses have been relying on old ways of understanding and modeling customer and therefore market dynamics.

 

 

LBx What are some of the insights that your pilot customers have discovered from using Placed Insights?

 


The complete article is available in the Spring 2013 Digital Edition of LBx Journal.

 





 

 

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