LSA Member Innovation in Local: Factual
October 15, 2014 | Contributed by: Joe Morsello
This week we hear from Factual, a data company that helps developers, publishers, and advertisers build more relevant and personalized mobile experiences using the context of location. The company’s Global Places data, which covers over 65 million local businesses and points of interest in 50 countries, is used by thousands of developers and applications to add location-based features to their mobile apps, including some of the largest names in local search such as Yelp and Bing.
We caught up with Vikas Gupta, director of marketing for Factual, to learn more:
What local problem(s) does Factual solve? How?
An ever increasing portion of user activity on mobile devices is being informed in one way or another by location – whether it’s as straightforward as a local search or navigation or a more subtle use such as a brand using the understanding location can provide to better communicate with its customers. The quality of the user experience in any activity informed by location is dependent on the quality of the underlying location data and the data capabilities of the developer or advertiser using the data.
There are a handful of companies that have both access to data and the internal data capabilities to develop experiences that can amaze users the way a Google Now can. Factual provides everyone else with access to location data and data capabilities that enables them to develop delightful user experiences and better connect with consumers on mobile.
What makes Factual innovative?
Factual’s technology – what we call our “data stack” – allows us to produce data that is on par with the largest, most advanced technology companies in the world with a small fraction of the resources those companies apply to solving similar problems. The data stack ingests billions of data points daily from millions of disparate sources and processes it to produce clean, structured, high quality data that can be easily used by developers, publishers, and advertisers to build better mobile experiences.
This ability to economically ingest any volume of data from any number of sources is critical in our model of having our partners – the developers, publishers, and advertisers who use our data – contribute data back into the ecosystem, improving the data for everyone, and enabling our partners to benefit from the effects of having a vast extended network of data sources that dwarfs each individual partner’s ability to collect and process data. Finally, the data stack materializes and distributes data in a number of different ways so that its optimized for the immense variety of use cases for which our partners utilize the data.
How does Factual make the local space better for advertisers and/or consumers?
As noted above, the quality of a mobile experience that utilizes location data is dependent on the quality of the location data utilized. By using Factual’s high quality data and advanced data capabilities, advertisers that run location-based mobile ads with Factual media partners will be able to deliver more relevant and engaging ads to consumers. Likewise, consumers who use mobile applications that utilize Factual data and technology will benefit from having a better user experience.
What is next in local?
We’re in the early innings of the utilization of location data in mobile. Over time, location will become a ubiquitous underlying layer with mobile applications and mobile advertising that results in every mobile interaction being more relevant, more personalized, and just plain better for every mobile user. These improvements may not be visible nor may they be an obvious application of location, but the level of understanding of a user and the user’s context that location can provide can and should be utilized by every developer, publisher, and advertiser to build the best mobile experience possible for users.