Mobile Location Data
The Ultimate Guide to Mobile Location Data 2021
What is Mobile Location Data?
There are different types of location data, and mobile location data is one of them. Mobile location data is geographical data about a device’s whereabouts linked to a time identifier (timestamp). It is collected by mobile devices in the form of latitude and longitude coordinates (lat/long) to map the location of the mobile device at that precise time, just like how GPS data gathers data from GPS-enabled devices. Paramount to mobile location data is the accuracy and precision of the information collected.
Accuracy refers to how close the location measurement is to the actual location. Precision refers to how close measurements are to each other. The more multiple sources of data match up with each other, the more precise the mobile location data is judged to be.
Mobile location data is used for locating where a device and its user are at any particular time. But to make use of this information it is necessary for businesses to know what exactly can be found in that location. For this reason, mobile location data is often used with POI and map data to give greater insights. Mobile phone location data can record geographically where a device is. POI data can confirm that this location is actually a coffee house or a department store.
What is Mobile App Location data?
Mobile app location data refers to information used by mobile apps to identify precise geographical coordinate points of mobile devices. Mobile location data is obtained from associations between smart devices and a range of other devices that aid in the transmission, interaction and processing of location data. Mobile location data is an important component of modern business operations, for example for targeted advertising campaigns. Data collected by third party location data vendors through smartphones apps can include location and visit information, including data about nearby POIs, cell phone towers or wifi routers, and information about app usage on the given phone.
What are the different types of location data?
There are two basic types of location data which include vector data and raster data. Vector data uses polygons, lines and points to represent features such as roads, mountains, water masses and cities that are mapped and stored in a geographic information system (GIS). A vector is split into point, line and polygon data. Line data is used to represent linear features. Point data represents non-adjacent features and discrete data points. Polygon data is used to represent areas such as boundary of a city, lake or forest. Raster data is cell-based and it includes aerial and satellite imagery. The two types of raster data are continuous and discrete. Continuous data includes temperature and elevation measurements, while an example of discrete data could be population density in a given location.
Who uses Mobile Location Data and for what use cases?
Organizations across industries buy cell phone location data. Mobile location data is used by many businesses, including retail, finance, government, healthcare and real estate. An increasing number of businesses are making the most of mobility analyzing marketing opportunities. Using software development kits (SDKs), businesses can track target audiences and how much time they spend in their store or the stores of their competitors. They can detect what time of day consumers are visiting their stores, which can help stores decide opening hours and staffing levels. And they can detect potential customers living in the area and what businesses are already utilised by customers in the area.
Mobile location data can measure footfall and how it changes over time. It can measure what stores in the area your potential customers visit and what they purchase. It can measure how often customers visit your business and how long they stay there. Cell phone location data can help businesses build better and more targeted geolocation mobile marketing campaigns, as well as to enrich their existing geolocation datasets.
We often hear about how location data is shaping modern day advertising. But what actually is location based advertising, and how does it work? Well, marketing campaigns thrive when they target ideal audiences. Mobile location data helps businesses to understand how consumers move and behave in the real world. It can give insights into audience movement, behaviour, interests and intent. Mobile location data can build up a detailed picture of consumers, which helps businesses to create more relevant and targeted marketing campaigns. If a potential customer has just entered a shopping mall in which you have a store, you can instantly send them a marketing message in realtime to encourage them to visit your store during their visit to the mall. These location-triggered ads are an important part of mobile location advertising.
Mobile location data can be used to target potential customers based on their interests. This opportunity for personalization is causing a boom in the mobile location analytics market. For example, health food store may see from mobile location data that a segment of consumers visit a nearby gym three times or more a week. Since these consumers are likely interested in a healthy lifestyle, the health food store may decide to target them and make them aware of its health food products. Mobile phone location data makes it easier to ensure you are targeting the right audience at the right time.
Mobile location-based data can also be used for retargeting. Only some consumers will respond to marketing campaigns in real time. But by retargeting even when the consumer has left the location, businesses can convert more potential customers. So let’s look again at our health store’s potential customers. Maybe the health store decides to target potential customers the night before they are due to go to the gym. Or an hour before they are due to go to the gym. Both of these options rely on a database of consumer cellular locations. Using mobile location data from geolocation data providers to retarget can convert more consumers.
Another way historical mobile location data versus realtime can be used is to target competitor’s consumers. Building up a picture of competitors’ consumers over time can help with targeting those consumers with marketing offers that may cause them to convert to your business. Predictive location marketing is part of this: if you can build a customer profile based on their historical behavior and visitation patterns, you can predict the locations they’ll visit in future and build campaigns centered around these places, targeting these consumers.
Consumers today want and expect a personalised service. Mobile location data helps businesses deliver a personalised service and build a better rapport with their consumers. Businesses can tailor ads to specific segments of their customers or potential customers based on cellular location data. This increases customer satisfaction, as customers like to receive relevant marketing. Using mobile location intelligence for mobile location based advertising also decreases customer dissatisfaction, as customers don’t like to receive ads which aren’t relevant to them.
When consumers see an ad online and then make a purchase online, it’s pretty easy to see the correlation between seeing the ad and making the purchase. But what about when the consumer sees an ad online and then makes a purchase offline in store? This is where mobile consumer location data can be essential in bridging the gap between online marketing and offline purchases, by allowing businesses to see how many online targeted consumers then purchase in store. Using external cell location data in conjunction with marketing data gives location-based mobile advertising companies a better measure of how well their marketing campaigns are working.
What is Mobile Location Data analysis?
Mobile location data analysis refers to the process of applying data analytics tools to assess and evaluate geographical information concerning a specific device’s whereabouts related to a time identifier. In carrying out this analysis, the mobile location acts as a vector corresponding to the location of a person. The core purpose of location data analysis is to offer insights into specific audience movement. Location data analysis is used to develop user-defined intelligence reports and identify specific consumer patterns for the purpose tailoring of sales and marketing efforts to consumers’ locations and visit patterns.
Why should I use Software Development Kits (SDKs) with Mobile Location Data?
Software developement kits (SDKs) are a more sophisticated way of measuring location data and getting location-based customer insights. Some SDKs may have their own mobile location services and POI systems built in, such as measuring location entry and exit times and floors visited in large department stores and shopping malls. These phone data intellligence measurements can be used to build and segment location-based audiences.
Utilising SDKs has other benefits. For instance, mobile location data using a single signal may record a device is at a location for 15 minutes. The location is outside a retail store. The natural assumption might be the consumer shopped in the store for 15 minutes. However, using SDK multiple signals, we discover the consumer didn’t actually enter the store. Perhaps they were waiting to meet some-one outside the store. Or perhaps they were stuck in traffic in the road outside. We can see the need of obtaining mobile location data that is accurate and precise in order to be of benefit to your business. Using SDKs makes mobile geolocation data more precise by using multiple sources to verify and correlate the information for the most accurate mobile location analytics.
What are typical Mobile Location Data attributes?
Mobile location data offerings vary from provider to provder. Here are some of the most common mobile location data attributes:
- Longitude (position)
- Latitude (position)
- Horizontal Accuracy (degree of error)
- Elevation (above sea level)
- Altitude (above sea level)
- Mobile Ad ID (unique identifier for device)
- Timestamp (adds context to mobile location data)
- IP Address (unique numerical label assigned by network provider)
How is Mobile Location Data typically collected?
Mobile location information is collected by geolocation database providers. Location data companies deploy a range of sources and techniques to collect their data, such as:
Mobile device ID, which measures movement over time. The mobile device uses location signals provided by GPS satellites for positioning by measuring the length of time it takes the signal to reach the device. GPS is especially good at receiving location signals outdoors.
Indoors, Wifi provides good mobile location signals and is useful when GPS is unavailable or blocked by buildings, making it impossible to collect phone GPS data.
Beacons are static signal receivers that also accurately provide mobile location data.
Devices can also use mobile cell towers, such as those provided by telecommunications companies such as Telco, to triangulate position and accurately collect cellphone location data and supply mobile phone data feeds.
Ad agencies buy mobile location data direct from app, website and network providers.
They also buy bundles of location-based data from ad networks.
Mobile location data providers and location data platforms sell data to ad exchanges which sell to ad agencies in realtime through a ‘bid request’. Every time a bid request is made, mobile location data is created which ad agencies package up, along with other data information, to sell to businesses.
Vast amounts of customer location data are collected in this way and compiled in a location based database. Because the data is captured programmatically, it can be used right away.
App publishers often use location data provided by the device’s built-in location provision to collect mobile location data, such as the locations of nearby restaurants. App developers often add location based SDKs to make location data more accurate. Some only work when the app is open, but others work in the background even when the app isn’t being accessed to gain broader insights.
Location based SDKs gather information with the device user’s consent. Sometimes this consent is explicitly asked for each time. Sometimes it is included in the terms and conditions.
Does IP address change as Mobile Location changes?
Yes Internet Protocol (IP) address changes with location. However, it largely depends with the network carrier in use. For fixed cellular networker provider, the IP address may not change according to location. An IP address basically denotes a device user’s physical location and is it applied in the process of facilitating communication between two nodes on the internet. Internet Service Providers (ISP) assign designated IP addresses, while maintaining a block of dynamic IP addresses that are in constant circulation throughout the facilitator’s customer base. In the event that a user moves to different geographical location and change broadband providers, the IP address is subject to change too.
How to assess the quality of Mobile Location Data?
When purchasing mobile location data, the quality of the data is of paramount importance. The quality and accuracy of the data will depend on the source. Before you buy data, keep the following quality-assessment questions in mind:
- How is the mobile location data collected?
- What are the location data sources? Is more than one source used?
- How detailed is the data?
- How contextual is the data?
- How does the provider check for misleading data?
- What are the database update frequencies?
How can you improve Mobile Location Data accuracy?
There are various ways that accuracy can be improved. One is by enabling wireless network access for the device in use. Mobile operators can leverage network information to determine a device’s precise location. The second process involves disconnecting the device from VPN services. VPN services are essentially designed to restrict location access by mobile apps. Given that mobile location data accuracy is determined by looking at the signal type (GPS, WiFi, cell tower), mobile devices provide readings of the location and the accuracy rating depends on the device’s ability to do that. This relies on good signal strength and network coverage. Mobile location data providers should filter out and exclude any data points which have been derived from weak signals so that the location dataset is accurate.
Who are the main Mobile Location Data services?
Much of the mobile targeting strategies in the marketing world today are facilitated by location data providers. With a projected 80 per cent growth in the application of location data in marketing campaigns, experts project that by the year 2022, location-based advertising spending will have hit $38.7 billion. The top mobile location data services vendors in the market include start.io, Lifesight, Predicio, Foursquare, Place IQ, Factual, Ground Truth, CubeIQ, and Skyhook. These are the top location data marketplaces where marketers can look to buy mobile location data. They provide historical and real-time location data, giving marketers the opportunity to conduct intuitive analysis of consumer behavior and make better, data-driven decisions.
How is Mobile Location Data typically priced?
There are two main pricing models for mobile location data and geolocation datasets in general. These include:
- Wireless data, charged per number of minutes or bytes purchased
- Location services, which often charge a monthly subscription rate
Location service plans differ in price depending on the services required. When you buy a dataset from a location data marketing platform, the starting plan might include a number of monthly reports, while a more advanced plan may include unlimited reports, customized data and sales forecasting.
What are the common challenges when buying Mobile Location Data?
Wondering how to buy location data? Make sure you keep the following considerations and possible challenges in mind when talking to a location data provider:
- Ensuring the mobile location data is reliable, accurate, and precise.
- Data collected from a single source is less reliable.
- Whether the data is first, second or third party is also a challenge.
- It’s vital to buy privacy-compliant data to ensure the provider isn’t breaching GDPR or CCPA regulations.
First party data will usually be more accurate and relevant than third party data, which has already gone through several agencies before being purchased for your business use, whether it’s mobile geolocation advertising, or POI mapping.
Always make sure to buy anonymized cell phone data. Mobile location data has to be aggregrated and consent-managed to protect the identity of its users and stay in line with GDPR and CCPA regulations.
How to calculate Mobile Location Data accuracy?
Location data is calculated using GPS, Wi-Fi, IP address, cell triangulation and registration data to produce precise longitude/latitude coordinates referring to the device’s location. The mobile location data is accurate up to 30metres on average depending on a number of factors, such as signal strength. For marketers seeking more accurate data, it is recommended to seek mobile location data vendors that utilize showcase data accuracy measures, such as having good customer reviews and verifying their data against diversify sources. If in doubt, before you buy mobile location data, ask for the providers’ quality filters.
What to ask Mobile Location Data providers?
Want to find the best database for location data? When buying mobile location data, there are several questions buyers should ask, such as:
- How is the mobile location data collected?
- Is POI data included?
- Is the data accurate in real time?
- How often is the mobile location data updated?
- How do you verify the mobile location data you supply?
- What error detection do you have in place for each phone location dataset?
- Can the mobile location data you supply be customized to my business needs?
- Can the system provide predictive sales forecasts?
- Are you integrated with a location data targeting platform?
- Have you received good reviews for your location data service?
Who are the best Mobile Location Data providers?
Finding the right Mobile Location Data provider for you really depends on your unique use case and data requirements, including budget and geographical coverage. Popular Mobile Location Data providers that you might want to buy Mobile Location Data from are Quadrant, Datastream Group, Tamoco, Alqami, and Onemata.
Where can I buy Mobile Location Data?
Data providers and vendors listed on Datarade sell Mobile Location Data products and samples. Popular Mobile Location Data products and datasets available on our platform are Onemata Mobile Location Data Globally - Device locations In real time and historical by Onemata, Lifesight Mobility Data | Global mobile location data (2 years history) by Lifesight, and Kochava Collective - Mobile Location Data in APAC by Kochava Collective.
How can I get Mobile Location Data?
You can get Mobile Location Data via a range of delivery methods - the right one for you depends on your use case. For example, historical Mobile Location Data is usually available to download in bulk and delivered using an S3 bucket. On the other hand, if your use case is time-critical, you can buy real-time Mobile Location Data APIs, feeds and streams to download the most up-to-date intelligence.
What are similar data types to Mobile Location Data?
Mobile Location Data is similar to Raw Location Data, GPS Location Data, SDK Location Data, Real-Time Location Data, and Historical Location Data. These data categories are commonly used for Location Intelligence and Mobile Location Data analytics.