Geospatial Data AI 01.27.17

McKinsey Identifies Geospatial Data as Key Factor for Success in the Age of Analytics

McKinsey Analytics global leader Nicolaus Henke said geospatial analysis can help companies succeed in the current era marked by fundamental business transformations driven by analytics and big data.

In a recent podcast entitled “How to win in the age of analytics,” Henke related an anecdote reflecting the importance of using geolocation data.

“We were working with a company, a retailer in a very large city,” Henke recalled. “It said, ‘We have a thousand outlets, and we basically feel we can’t grow any further. Are there other opportunities to grow? Just help us understand where we can find more spaces, so to speak, to put ourselves.’”

“With artificial intelligence and machine-learning applications, we found that the stores that are located next to a laundromat, for a particular segment of people, would be highly, highly successful. And we found 850 new locations that the company had never thought about, based on that analysis. It is now heavily growing. So it’s an incredible opportunity to link, in this case, geospatial data with things you wouldn’t have thought about before.”

Henke also noted that machine learning technologies are a major factor in driving the analytics revolution.

“…by leveraging machine-learning techniques, we can analyze much more,” he observed. “To give you an example, in the past it took a statistician to come up with a potential hypothesis for regression, and it took a day or two. You could make, maybe, three a day. With these new techniques, you can add all these things together. We can, in our normal work, do hundreds of millions of calculations a day, which obviously increases the granularity of our work.”

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