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Location Analytics: Why the “Where” Matters

Visualizing Location Analytics Can Benefit Both Sales and Marketing

While we exist today in what is often referred to as “omnichannel” world, physical location remains a critical element in business decision making, specifically for resource planning and optimization. As a demonstration of this, I want to share with you the impact of visualizing location analytics, the combination of predictive analytics plus location data, in a highly consumable way.

As I discussed in my previous article, Closing Deals with Analytics, our internal analytics journey at Dun & Bradstreet has focused on unlocking and maximizing the potential of our data. Because of this, we have always provided location information in any analysis we deliver to our business partners across Sales and Marketing. For example, when we provide an Integrated Marketer with her best opportunities based on predictive analytics, the supporting dataset includes the address for headquarters and any relevant “family tree” locations.

While a pivot table may let you do a lot of things, it cannot let you look across a region such as the United States and easily identify the top metro areas based on opportunities for your product(s) or portfolio…
Eyal Levi, Director of Customer Analytics, Dun & Bradstreet
 

But, knowing our role is to drive data-inspired decision making, this view was not enough. My team quickly realized that we could increase the actionability of our analytics by “showing” rather than “telling.” This ultimately allows us to drive the conversation instead of answering a request. Let us take the example of the Integrated Marketer, who is focused on Dun & Bradstreet supply and compliance solutions. She has an upcoming event in Chicago and wants to know which customers or prospects she should target with an invitation. In the past, we would have provided her with a list of the best supply and compliance opportunities in Chicago. But what if instead, we give her a spatial view within an interactive dashboard that shows the best supply and compliance opportunities clustered on a North America map? Even further, what if the dashboard is customizable based on the threshold of “best” or “high” opportunity?

 

Below is an example dashboard leveraging location analytics.

numbers-of-apportunies

Data is for illustrative purposes only

What does combining location analytics with an interactive spatial dashboard do? It enables two very important things that best-in-class analytics teams do consistently. First, it democratizes the data and analytics by putting it in the hands of the business partners. “While a pivot table may let you do a lot of things, it cannot let you look across a region such as the United States and easily identify the top metro areas based on opportunities for your product(s) or portfolio,” says Eyal Levi, Director of Customer Analytics. Second, it “levels-up” the conversation so that analytics is driving the strategy and approach. “We are now driving the conversation with data and analytics instead of providing data that matches a theory or question,” says Valerie Walburn, Leader of Customer Analytics.

Location Analytics for Marketing

In this example, I can tell you concretely it did both of these things. Not only did the Integrated Marketer begin engaging and exploring the dashboard immediately (meaning during the introductory meeting), but it also completely shifted her thinking in terms of the overall event strategy and where she places her “bets” for her line of business. “In my role, I have always been a heavy consumer of analytics in order to identify prospects and markets for the products and solutions that I market, and it has always been time intensive. However, having location-based analytics in a dashboard now allows me to make decisions ‘on the fly,’ reassessing my overall marketing strategy and oftentimes reprioritizing my resources quickly and efficiently,” says Kristen Celecki, Vice President, Integrated Marketing.

Location Analytics for Sales

We rolled out a very similar dashboard to a Sales Leader focused on growing our trade credit line of business. While he was thrilled to start using it for opportunity identification, he immediately saw another use case for resource planning. He wanted to ensure that his team members were properly aligned geographically to where the opportunities are.“We use the location and prospecting analytics on a frequent basis in targeting customers. In parallel, these tools are also tremendously valuable in helping to think about our coverage model, sales resources, and overall strategic planning for the business. The analytics are now an important part of how we resource our team,” says Frank Fehrenbach, Leader/Head of Trade Credit Sales.

And the use cases are endless. What I’ve learned time and again in my journey is that the “how” really does matter. The best data and analytics are not enough to truly influence business decisions and drive strategy. You need to constantly push the bounds and question if you are providing your business partners with meaningful, easy-to-consume information. The easier to consume, the more likely it will drive action and outcome. And at the end of the day, data-driven decision making and action is the reason analytics and insights teams exist.

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