Quality issues in Geospatial Data: Causes and how high quality data can be useful

Quality issues in Geospatial Data

Maintaining high quality is of utmost importance in Geospatial Data. 

Source: Unsplash. Downloaded on December 28, 2022.

We all know that geospatial data is important for companies to help them understand and analyse physical spaces as well as make informed decisions such as determining the ideal location for business. Geospatial data is even more beneficial to companies when combined with demographic data to provide a more complete and nuanced understanding of a particular market region. However, these datasets can only be useful when they are of high quality, otherwise, it will lead to incorrect analysis and decisions that may reduce operational efficiency for businesses. 

The reason why geospatial data has so many quality issues is that it is often collected from a variety of sources and can be affected by factors such as errors in measurement, changes in the environment, and data integration issues. High-quality geospatial data refers to data that is accurate, relevant, and up-to-date, and that is collected and stored in a way that allows it to be easily accessible and usable.

Here are some of the common causes of data quality issues:

1. Incomplete or missing data

This can occur when key information is not collected or is not recorded properly. For example, a dataset can miss important details such as a phone number or email address – or a transaction record may be without the date or amount. This can pose a significant problem for companies as it can lead to biased or inaccurate conclusions. It becomes difficult for businesses to accurately model or forecast trends which is essential for building a robust strategy. 

2. Inconsistent data

This can occur when information is recorded in a different form. For example, a restaurant’s name may be recorded as “Lombardi’s” in one record and “Lombardi” in another. Data can involve multiple information from different sources such as one source may use latitude and longitude to point out a specific location while another may use a different projection or coordinate system. It is challenging to accurately combine and analyze data when this information doesn’t align properly. Also, data may be collected at different times using different methods, leading to inconsistencies in the information. If one source collects data from satellite imagery and the other uses ground-based surveys, it could lead to differences in resolution, accuracy as well as coverage of the data. 

3. Outdated data

This can occur when the information in a database is not kept up-to-date, leading to incorrect analysis and decision-making. For example, if a map is based on data that is several years old, it may not accurately represent the current status of that state – such if what if it doesn’t showcase the building that was newly constructed there, instead it still shows an empty plot of land. Outdated data can be problematic as it can lead to incorrect analysis of spatial patterns and ill-informed decision-making causing huge loss of investment and time. 

High-quality geospatial data is important for organisations for ensuring accurate analysis, reliable decision-making, and efficient use of resources. It helps build credibility and improve the overall reliability of the datasets, so that it can be used across multiple fields including real estate & prop tech, retail, insurance, and FMCG.

Here’s how business domains can benefit from high-quality data?

a. Real Estate & Prop Tech:

High-quality geospatial data is crucial in the real estate and prop tech industries because it is used to accurately represent and analyze information that helps real estate professionals and property investors make informed decisions about buying, selling, and managing properties. For example, geospatial data can be used to verify the location and size of a property, as well as its proximity to amenities and transportation options. It can also be used to assess the environmental conditions and potential risks associated with a property, such as flood zones or natural hazards. In addition, geospatial data can help prop tech companies develop innovative solutions for improving the efficiency and sustainability of buildings, such as energy management systems. 

Overall, high-quality geospatial data is essential for maximizing value in the real estate and prop tech industries.

b. Retail:

When it comes to effective retail planning, data allows retailers to analyze consumer behavior and demographics, understand market trends and competition, and optimize store locations and product offerings. For example, geospatial data can be used to identify high-potential areas for new store openings, target marketing campaigns to specific customer segments, and analyze the performance of existing stores. By leveraging geospatial data, retailers can make data-driven decisions that improve efficiency, increase sales, and enhance the customer experience. Additionally, geospatial data can help retailers adapt to changing market conditions, such as shifts in consumer preferences or changes in the competitive landscape, and make informed decisions about how to respond to these changes. 

In short, high-quality geospatial data is a critical resource for retailers looking to succeed in today’s highly competitive market.

c. Marketing & Ad Tech:

It enables businesses to understand and target their audience more effectively. By analyzing geospatial data, marketing agencies can identify the locations of their customers and potential customers, as well as their preferences and behaviors. This information can be used to tailor marketing campaigns and deliver personalized advertisements that are more likely to be relevant and appealing to the target audience. For example, a business might use geospatial data to identify neighbourhoods with high concentrations of parents of young children, and then create targeted ads for products or services such as a discount at a particular retail store for children’s clothing. Additionally, geospatial data can help businesses understand the effectiveness of their out of home (OOH) advertising by allowing them to track the performance of ads in different locations and understand the impact of location-specific factors on customer engagement. This way they can allocate the budget in the most impact locations. 

In general high-quality geospatial data is essential for businesses looking to optimize their marketing and advertising efforts and drive growth.

d. Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCGs):

Optimising distribution and logistics is an important aspect of FMCG, and high quality data plays a key role in this process. It allows companies to understand and analyse the performance of different products and sales channels. Enriching Point of Interest (POI) datasets with proprietary data, such as sales volumes, can also be beneficial to gain an understanding of consumer behaviour and preferences – as well as the performance of different products and sales channels. For example, by combining POI data with sales data, a company can identify which locations are most popular for certain products and optimize their distribution and marketing efforts accordingly. This can help FMCG companies make data-driven decisions that improve efficiency, reduce costs, and increase sales. By leveraging this data, companies can make informed decisions that adapt to changing market conditions and drive success.

Geospatial data is an essential component of modern business operations, as it provides a rich source of information about location, geography, and spatial relationships. High-quality geospatial data is particularly important, as it allows businesses to make more accurate and informed decisions about their operations, marketing strategies, and resource allocation. By leveraging geospatial data, businesses can gain a competitive advantage and improve their overall performance. It is essential for businesses to invest in the acquisition, maintenance, and analysis of high-quality geospatial data in order to remain competitive in today’s fast-paced and data-driven economy.

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