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North America is an ‘emerging market’ for location intelligence business

At the just concluded MapInfo User Conference in Memphis, Tennessee, Mark Smith of Ventana Research presented the results of a survey done on the business trends in location analytics and how organisations are utilising the power of location to drive effectiveness of their activities. The survey explored the impact of geographic context on business processes within several large, mid-sized and small enterprises headquartered in North America.

The survey pointed out that organisations are using location intelligence for B2B, B2C functions as well as internal processes. Organisations which have been using location intelligence are able to improve their sales, marketing, demand generation, logistics and supply chain management, SEO& advertisement activities with location awareness of their customers. Mark Smith highlighted the top benefits of location intelligence as brought out by the survey as follows:

The survey presented mixed results, where 34% of the participants opined that location analytics has improved the results of their activities and processes significantly, while a majority 51% have only marked slight improvement in their activities and the rest 15% said either there is no impact or do not know the impact. However, the survey claims that the experience of the users in utilising the location intelligence tools played a significant role in the results of the survey.

The research also identified the barriers to building a business case for using location intelligence as:

  • Total cost of ownership
  • Lack of resources
  • No suitable software
  • Lack of awareness
  • No executive support

When applied to the research findings, the maturity index analysis placed the single largest group (29%) at the lowest tactical level but the second largest (27%) at the highest innovative level. This indicates the broad range of maturity typical of an emerging market. Among the four dimensions in which Ventana further evaluated the maturity, organisations are most mature in technology and information, least so in the people dimension and only a little better in process.

These results coming out from a seemingly mature technology market like North America indicates that vendors in the space need to better their solutions keeping customer need and ease of use in the mind. Aggressive training and technical support is another need for best results at the customer end. The results also imply that the vendors need to invest in creating awareness, and in developing and nurturing the market.

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