Why is It Important to Store Your Location Data?

Jul 14, 2015   

Posted by David Bairstow

Lat. 42.351994 Long. -71.047663

Many app developers are not saving their users’ location samples, which means they're throwing away valuable behavioral insights. If your app is already asking for user location, why not take full advantage of location-based context for a better UX and segmentation?

Location is valuable data, as it represents the journey of your user through time and space. Location history can divulge your user’s behavior, lifestyle and interests. It can be turned into actionable insights and can influence the creation of Personas for developers to use to their benefit.

Therefore it is incredibly important to store location data.

What is important to store?

Storing information like timestamp, lat/long, and location source is a good start. When storing location data, it is important to store quality data that is not rounded or truncated. This means storing latitude/longitude points with at least four decimal places. The more decimal places, the more precise the latitude/longitude is.

For example, a user attends a baseball game at Fenway Park. A lat/long with 4 decimal places would position a user at Fenway, practically on top of the famous Green Monster. But, if the lat/long is truncated or rounded down to two decimal places, we will be led to believe that the user is actually standing on Huntington Ave, right in the middle of Northeastern University and steps away from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boloco and Au Bon Pain. Any profiling of this user based on the 2 digit lat/long will be incredibly misleading.

Now, if the location was derived from an IP address that provided a lat/long for the zip code associated with Fenway Park the user will be placed in the middle of a centroid associated with that zip code, in this case the Residence Inn.

fenway_Skyhook_precise_location.png

How do you store it?

One obvious option is to database it yourself. This, however, requires time, storage space and maintenance.

The other option is to send it to Skyhook where we can store it for you. We offer the ability for you to send us the data through our API, where we can then Personify the data.

How Skyhook can enhance the data you store

We have established that storing the location data you collect is important in order to learn more about your users. However, the information you collect and store, such as lat/long and timestamp, won’t allow you to say much about your user without context. In order to analyze the data in the best way possible, you need venues, roads, events, and a taxonomy of venues. This is where Skyhook’s full stack of location-based context comes into play.

If collecting location data is new to your app, Skyhook’s SDK is the best way to get accurate, precise location. If you already have accurate, precise location, using our API is a simple way to allow us to decorate the data you already carefully collect and store.

Bottom Line

Don’t let the information you collect go to waste. It is not enough to just collect the location data in the moment and then throw it away. If you don’t store location data you lose the opportunity to understand more about your users and to segment them in ways that are valuable to advertisers. apps_header

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Topics: Advertising, Apps