Place Informatics is the UK’s leading provider of footfall and location visitor behaviour data monitoring and the team works with organisations such as town and city councils, retail and shopping sites, large chains, leisure parks, tourism destinations, heritage and environmental custodians.
We have developed a cutting-edge platform, a feature-rich dashboard that enables our customers to access the huge volume of data in a useable format with visual graphs and charts for their location that can be distributed to key stakeholders easily.
As well as IT and statistics, we also have expertise in big data, AI and machine learning to refine the data to be extremely robust and accurate.
By using GDPR compliant anonymous mobile GPS location data we are able to provide actionable insights which help support and enable decision making – to assist in health and safety, conservation, events, marketing and return on investment for economic regeneration projects.
We work on a consultative basis with our customers as many of them have innovative ideas for increasing footfall which often means they need to apply for extra investment or funding to deliver these concepts. Our data gives them detailed information to show how their visitors are currently behaving and also which postcodes they are visiting from, giving them the information they need to ensure their proposed initiatives have the very best chance of being successful.
Our solution can tell them details such as the best time of day to run events, the expected increase in footfall and our socio-economic data can even provide guidance and reassurance to investors or funding bodies that the right demographic is in their catchment area.
Our data dashboards are accessed by various teams across councils services, heritage and tourist organisations – ranging from planning, strategic marketing, public event management, conservation, funding applications, parking to facilities management solutions.
A broad range of stakeholders across retail sites such as tenants and landlords, commercial property agents, facilities management and shopping centre owners – can all benefit from access to the data sets.
Across the spectrum, the data can also assist with decision making for commercial agreements such as between landlords and tenants, advertising rate setting or commercial pitch trading pricing, shareholder fund investments and proposals for planning and development.
Our customers benefit from the simplicity of our market-leading dashboard, our ability to provide retrospective data going back to pre-pandemic 2019 and the automatically generated charts and graphs that make it easy to spot trends.
Data helps our customers make good, informed decisions based on evidence, that’s easily downloadable and perfect for sharing. Companies and Organisations who subscribe to our solution can easily distribute the key metrics to any number of stakeholders and businesses.
How did you come up with the idea for the company?
We started our journey with the aim to disrupt the status quo of retail analytics away from cameras and surveys and entered a Government competition to win substantial funding for a start-up.
The three co-founders and directors combined expertise in IT, big data, high street retail, sales and app development helped ensure success and the team effort won the initial funding and the company has just gone from strength to strength since. We now work with hundreds of customers across multiple sectors and our team is continuing to grow year on year.
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What do you think makes this company unique?
We have a system which implements a high level of precision when creating ‘geofences’ around certain areas, so for example in the Malvern Hills, we track a multitude of long thin pathways for visitor data. Competitors use circles or hexagons to cover broader areas which offers a lower level of accuracy.
We are also the only UK owned company that focuses solely on the UK market and this has allowed us to develop our service in direct response to our customer’s specific needs. Our competitors have a wider net across Europe or worldwide and their services have been driven accordingly.
As we have no external shareholders, we are able to keep costs affordable and continue to develop our data to ensure it remains the most detailed and comprehensive in the UK.
How has the company evolved over the last couple of years?
We started as a small company in the big data industry and over the last couple of years, Place Informatics has expanded its customer base – we now have over 50+ councils that have a licence with us, serving over 250+ towns and we’ve recently introduced new services, that have been driven primarily by our customers such as green space monitoring, events reporting and car park usage analysis.
What can we hope to see from Place Informatics in the future?
As the market-leader in this space we continue to invest and develop our platform and dashboards to ensure we can offer our customers the very best solution and maintain our position as the leaders in this sector.
We are investing in AI and machine learning technology to help our customers discover trends and patterns in the visitor data that are not necessarily obvious. We will be using this advanced tech to unlock patterns in the data to further understand behaviours and trends and make predictions for the future based on the data over a long period of time.
Many have predicted the upward trend in growth in the leisure sector will bring life into new places and our data shows this is a trend that will continue to rise for the foreseeable future. Leisure parks that have a mix of attractions available will not only benefit from finding out the socio-demographic data of their current and potential customers, but it’s also possible to ascertain their preferences for where else their core visitors like to spend their leisure time, with the aim of developing new attractions with them in mind.
We are growing rapidly in the Green Spaces sector and are seeing growth in areas such as park planning and conservation. We are also looking at using our data to help with Sustainability especially for Heritage Action Zones.
We will continue to recruit and expand our team to help us to develop and improve our solution and give our customers the data needed to predict impacts, plan better and create more eco-friendly places.