Mastering POI data with the right attributes


Point of Interest data plays a vital role in enabling businesses like yours to make data-driven decisions; be it when analysing competitors, selecting a new retail site, or while observing new market trends. In other words, POI data can be an invaluable resource to solve the use case of your company, no matter the industry, with the information provided as such:

While POI data gives you basic information about a particular location, POI attributes can provide a higher level of analysis. These could include opening and closing hours of stores, stock tickers, precise building footprint, popularity index, etc. Let’s say you own a burger chain that leverages POI data to conduct neighbourhood profiling. Such analysis will give your business a better understanding of relevant popular hotspots and new restaurants opening throughout your Area of Interest (AOI) thus identifying where to open new locations.

What attributes should you consider?

While looking for Points-of-Interest data, it is important to consider the attributes included in the vendor’s data schema. Below are the most common attributes tied to Points of Interest:
Attribute Description
ID Unique identifier
Name Business/POI name
Alternate Name An alternate name of the POI
Lat/Long Location latitude refers to a geographic coordinate specifying the north-south & east-west position of a POI
Address Address number and street name
Locality City, town
Region State, province, or region
Postcode Postcode or Zip code
Country Country code

While these attributes are all important, not all of them are of equal value while conducting a geospatial analysis. In short, you should prioritise data providers who offer attributes that best fit your use case. With this being said, here are some additional unique attributes that have proven to add major value to a POI dataset: 

Attribute Description
Telephone Telephone number with a local formatting
Fax Fax number with a local formatting
Email The email address of the organization
Website Office website of the business
Neighborhood The neighborhood(s) in which the POI is found
Lat/Long Location latitude refers to a geographic coordinate specifying the north-south & east-west position of a PO!
Chain Name Chain entity associated with the organization (Zara-Inditex)
Parent Organization Legal entity that runs the stated brand/franchise. This is the indicator of the business group that the company is listed under.
Stock Tickers Abbreviations to identify publicly traded companies worldwide
Category Labels Category labels defining the category branch (E.g., Automotive, Food and Dining, Retail, etc.)
Radius Size POI boundaries defined by a radius or a centroid that takes in the geographical boundaries of a POI in a circular format Shapefile Polygon shapefiles that geofence the exact geographical
Popularity Index Indicates the level of popularity for a specific PO!
Hours of operations Opening and Closing Hours
Website URL URL of the official website of the PO!
Mobility Index How much people living in the area move within a day
Population Index Population living in Area
Age Distribution Represents the age distribution within an area
Employment Index Indicates employment rate

Evaluated appropriately, additional attributes like the ones mentioned lead to intelligent business strategies by providing a context to a determined location. A great mix of attributes will help you draw the right conclusions from the data and gain a competitive edge in their market.

Relevant use cases

1. Financial Institutions

If you are a Hedge Fund Portfolio Manager, you are probably looking to conduct a trend analysis for a list of brands tied to a publicly listed company. When deciding on a data vendor, you and the research analyst should seek providers that will be able to offer a dataset with relevant attributes such as stock ticker association, precise building footprint, mobility and transaction patterns on a POI level and frequency of data refresh. These attributes will help you analyse trends and make better decisions with regard to your stock positions by anticipating quarterly results of publicly listed companies before their statements go public.

2. Urban Planning

Alternatively, an Urban Planner looking to enhance metropolitan traffic flows will find this attribute to be less relevant. This is why for his/her use case, it would be best to tap into attributes like the lat/longs, addresses, real estate prices, postcodes, POI categories and so forth. This mix of attributes will help you understand the mix of POIs in any given area in your city and better plan new city investments.

3. Media and AdTech

A Marketer, on the other hand, can use POI attributes such as building shapefiles to create virtual parameters using geofencing techniques. This allows him/her to improve their conversion rates by targeting the right customers at the right place and time.

To sum up

The right combination of POI attributes, when analyzed, can provide valuable insights for better planning and forecasting, effective targeting, operational optimization, and much more. While evaluating POI data providers make sure to always check:
  • If the data is recent enough for your use case?
  • What level of accuracy does your use case require?
  • How is the data sourced?
  • Do you need to source any additional datasets to complement that dataset?
Are you evaluating different providers to see what attributes are essential to your business needs? Or do you need help with how to make the best use of POI data? Read our blog post on getting started with POI data to set yourself on the right track.
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