redarrows I was asked the other day, “what is it that we write about in LBx Journal?” I started telling this person that we write about location intelligence as it relates to business objectives. I watched her eyes roll into her head. Then I moved towards my usual lay explanation, “Are you familiar with Google Earth? Well, think of Google Earth meets business.” One less eye roll…
Then I realized the simplicity of what my answer should have been: “We write about why place matters.” That’s the bottom line. We write about why knowing the dimensions of where people, assets, products, and facilities are located, including the time and distance between things and people, make a difference in our understanding of what works and doesn’t work in the world. Understanding, or the lack of understanding, of the concept of place is what orients us in the world. Consciously and subconsciously, the way we think about almost everything is a function of place.
Marketers and data providers have become keenly aware of how location information reveals individual behavior. Research has shown that people’s behavior in terms of where they go, how much time they spend in a particular place, what they eat, and what their interests are can be predicted to 95% accuracy based on that person’s mobile phone data. Place is so ingrained in what we do and how we think that we take it for granted.
Personal location data is becoming a business battleground as companies like Facebook, Twitter, Google, and others have built their business plans on monetizing the information, location included, that people share both wittingly and unwittingly through searches, social applications, e-commerce transactions, web-surfing, and by the sheer fact of owning a mobile phone (whether it is smart or not).
So if all of this is true, why are so many businesses still so far behind the curve when it comes to being location aware? Again, it comes back to place. Business schools don’t teach the location dimension of business, nor do international relations programs that train global leaders, although they spend a lot of time on “cultural sensitivity.”
But the consumerization of IT is changing businesses and governments. The ability to bring your own device or technologies to the office and into the field is changing the way people interact with information, react to newly revealed perspectives and insights, and perceive what works and doesn’t work. Location information has always been all around us, but now it is really in front of us and even in the palms of our hands. Place matters, because place is perspective, and perspective can be the difference between good and bad decisions.
Discover the location dimension of business.

Natasha Léger
Co-founder and Editor