Since starting life in Sydney in 2009, Location IQ has grown to become Australia’s first choice economic advisory service for retail property owners and investors. Using a range of data, analytics and mapping solutions to provide accurate reporting on a wide array of sites, the innovative Sydney-based company helps customers such as Woolworths, Stockland, Lendlease, Dexus and AMP to optimise their retail property holdings.
The business challenge
While already providing cutting-edge services to their stable of high-profile retailers and property developers, Location IQ wanted to improve their data analytics to include a broader use of data points such as satellite imagery and geolocation data sourced from mobile phones.
While census and demographic data is a reliable basis for retail property analysis, Location IQ identified that it could be enhanced further using data that could provide a live pulse on human movement and visitation to assets, adding new dimensions to the company’s capabilities.
The Orbital Insight solution
Geospatial data services were added in March 2020, bringing with it a new depth of information-gathering to Location IQ.
Orbital Insight’s AI-powered geospatial analytics platform, GO, was brought on board to add the power of satellite, vehicle and mobile phone data to Location IQ’s existing data sources.
“We maintain an accurate database on properties in the retail industry, and we do a lot of research into population growth. New facilities open up where the population is growing, so our clients come to us with a location and we’ll define the catchment area that site would serve,” says Greg Inglis, Director of Data & Analytics at Location IQ.
The Orbital Insight GO platform uses AI to process geospatial data—including satellite images, anonymised mobile location and additional IoT data—and answer questions about supply chains, global commodities, specific sites including retail centres, and more. The AI-powered solution also allows for aggregated activity trends at those sites which has been of specific use to Location IQ.
The relationship between Location IQ and Orbital Insight began with an analysis of 40 shopping centres across NSW at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, amid growing uncertainty over business conditions.
Using Orbital Insight’s platform allows Location IQ to draw a ‘geo-fence’ around a specific area, then input specific parameters of data that the client wants to research. This might be foot traffic to a specific entry in a shopping centre, volume of vehicles passing at certain times of the day, or mapping of repeat business.
Such services add a lot of value to the work conducted by Location IQ, but the Orbital Insight platform also allows analysis to be conducted much faster than was previously possible.
“We initially had Orbital Insight work on a few different scenarios we gave them, presenting a range of existing case studies. The data that came back was high quality, and we immediately saw the value in adding their solution to our existing data sources,” said Inglis.
From there, Location IQ has continued to innovate with geospatial data provided by Orbital Insight, and expanded the range of research and analysis services they offer clients.
“At the start of our work with Orbital Insight the focus was on defining catchments for a specific property, establishing where their business was coming from. However, the range of uses has expanded since then and we can use their data to understand how long people will dwell inside that shopping centre, look at consumer behaviour at different times of the year, and so on. You can get quite granular, say for example looking at how visitation patterns change from one week to the next, or how specific incidents might affect visitation to a specific mall,” states Inglis.
One such pattern emerged when Location IQ examined the changes in consumer retail behaviour during and post-pandemic. Analysis established that, in many cases, consumers would visit their local, smaller shopping malls more than they had before, and stayed away from larger premises for a while.
Orbital Insight’s platform allows Location IQ to help clients make strategic business decisions, based on deep analysis of geospatial data.
Location IQ now uses Orbital Insight’s GO platform on almost every project that it undertakes for its clients.
By applying artificial intelligence to anonymised location data, the GO platform provides a better understanding of travel patterns, dwell times, foot traffic, and demographics to help enterprise retailers and commercial developers make informed decisions.