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Location intelligence. What is it and what’s its value?

Posted: 28 March 2022

At last year’s GeoPlace conference, the Local Government Association (LGA), Socitm and ConsultingWhere presented in the opening session of day 2 ‘Your data, supporting public services.'

Panel discussion - location intelligence
Panel discussion at the GeoPlace conference 2022: LGA, SOCITM, ConsultingWhere & GeoPlace

At the conference each of the speakers clearly demonstrated that this type of location data with associated UPRNs and USRNs is extremely valuable in improving the planning and delivery of critical public services. And so, following the conference, GeoPlace, the LGA, Socitm and ConsultingWhere convened a small working group to coordinate greater awareness of their use and potential use in the public sector. Outputs from our work include:

A further initiative has been a series of videos and supporting material showcasing how location intelligence is used to better understand the characteristics of communities, infrastructure and places, and when and where they need particular services.

The series of videos includes:

  1. An introduction
  2. Case studies
  3. The business case
  4. How to guide – realising the benefits
  5. Enabling technology

The five videos sit on the Socitm website and range in length from 2 to 4 minutes. They’re supported by a large number of case studies with practical examples of benefits available to the public sector.

Included in the videos are interviews with several people in the public sector, ranging from Elected Members to Chief Execs to Policy Directors to Custodians to Departmental and Programme Heads to Technical Leads, all of whom talk about how location intelligence impacts and supports their work and benefits their organisation:

  • Rachel Antcliffe, Principle LLPG Officer, Leeds City Council
  • Tony Bracey, Welsh Government
  • Ralph Buchholz – head of property and planning, States of Jersey
  • Nikki Clarke, Data Support Officer, Manchester City Council
  • Richard Duffield, Head of Customer Insights, GeoPlace
  • Cllr Peter Fleming, Leader of Sevenoaks Council, Chair of the Local Government Association's Improvement & Innovation Board
  • Lawrence Hopper, Deputy Director, Digital Policy, DLUHC
  • Riley Marsden, Business Intelligence Technical Solutions Lead, Barnsley Council
  • Alison McKenzie Foley, Chief Executive at Wigan Council

So, what is location intelligence?

Location intelligence reveals valuable insights by analysing data that has a geographical reference. The work that local authority Address and Street Custodians do every day creates location intelligence. Location intelligence drastically transforms the way in which public services can be delivered, facilitating the creation of insights and intelligence on where and how services could be more focussed. The local address and street gazetteers maintained by Custodians provides the engine for location intelligence. The visualisation below demonstrates that every bit of land and property and every street is recorded by local authorities and assigned a UPRN or USRN, and each of these identifiers links to a wide range of information about that property or street.

The videos can be used by Custodians to highlight and explain the value of address and street data to senior decision-makers. They are useful tools for engaging with decision-makers to explain location intelligence for public services – why it’s so important, how to get started, and what kind of benefits can be realised.

GeoPlace resources

Over the past 19 years, GeoPlace has published literally hundreds of case studies, organised 16 annual conferences, ran the Exemplar Awards scheme, published blogs and articles, produced videos, brochures, reports and guidance demonstrating the value of location intelligence. At this year’s GeoPlace conference, we’ll also be releasing an independent report on cost/benefit evaluation of the impact of address and street data that GeoPlace collates from local authorities across England and Wales.

The new set of videos from our partnership with Socitm, the LGA and ConsultingWhere are a valuable addition. Do check them out and make use of them at https://socitm.net/resource-hub/collections/location-intelligence/case-studies/.

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