While the knowledge and collection of location data is widespread across organizations, many face challenges in analyzing this data and have trouble determining how mature their location intelligence is, according to a report by Carto, a provider of location intelligence software.

Location intelligence relates geographic contexts to business data. Location intelligence software is designed to turn data into insight for a host of purposes, drawing on data sources, such as geographic information systems (GIS), aerial maps, demographic information and, in some cases, an organization's own databases. Healthcare organizations can use such technology to visualize referral or admission trends, or track occurrences of diseases.

The vast majority of the more than 200 mid-size and large organizations the company surveyed (94 percent) knowingly collect data with a location component, and 84 percent of C-level survey respondents are planning to invest in location intelligence in the next three years.

Executives contacted for the survey say they believe that location intelligence data will grow in importance to their organizations over the next few years, with 68 percent saying it is “very” or “extremely” important today, with that top-box percentage growing to 85 percent in the next three years.

Also See: Use of location systems surging within healthcare

But the study also found that only 17 percent of analysts said their organizations perform spatial analysis on their location data. By contrast, 39 percent of C-level executives believe that’s how location data is being used.

In addition, many organizations are hindered from moving to a deeper level of location data analysis, with 42 percent still relying on traditional business intelligence tools to analyze their location data.

The survey also found that organizations collecting and analyzing location data will need to overcome some challenges to successfully adopt location intelligence. The biggest problems include data quality and accessibility. Nearly half of respondents (49 percent) said “ensuring data quality and accuracy” is a top challenge.

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Bob Violino

Bob Violino

Bob Violino is a freelance technology and business writer who covers a variety of topics, including big data and analytics, cloud computing, information security and mobile technology.