Just as all data sources are not created equal, nor are data companies either. So if you are currently looking to partner with a data company, you need to be crystal clear about what your data-related goals are and what you hope to achieve by working with specific datasets.
As you begin shopping around for a data partner, it may seem like getting access to more data would be the better option. A word of caution: More data isn’t always better; if the quality and accuracy aren’t there, then no amount of data is going to do your organization any good.
In fact, if the data supplied is fundamentally flawed or can’t easily be joined to your own datasets, you risk wasting hours cleaning it to make it useful. And in the worst-case scenario, bad data can lead you to make bad decisions that can be both costly and potentially harmful—to both your organization and the people impacted by those decisions.
Long story short: Choosing the right data partner is not something that should be done haphazardly. Especially in the location-data space.
As you already know, at SafeGraph, we are 100% focused on data. That’s all we do—and our goal is to do it better than any other data company out there.
All of our resources are dedicated 24/7 to the production and delivery of the highest quality, most accurate location-based data available to our customers in the U.S, Canada, and now, the UK, too. We don’t let ourselves get distracted by an array of ancillary “services,” like consulting or designing fancy graphics, that many other data companies offer. It’s simply a distraction that takes us away from our mission of democratizing access to clean and accurate data for all.
We often like to think of ourselves as an ingredient in a recipe. When you put the highest quality ingredients into what you’re making for dinner, you’re going to have a higher quality meal overall. The same applies to our business. The higher quality the data we provide to our customers and partners, the higher quality solutions, insights, decisions, and innovations they’ll be able to drive from it. It’s really just as simple as that.
And if you didn’t hear the big news, we just closed a round of Series B funding, which will open up even more opportunities for us to double down on what we do best: data.
But aside from our core foundations and values, there are a few primary reasons why we’ve quickly become the go-to choice for data scientists for their location-based data needs:
The SafeGraph Places dataset captures core location information, spatial hierarchy metadata, place traffic data, and a lot more for over 6,200 brands. In fact, our data is so accurate, that it can identify 95% of a brand’s actual locations (when compared to first-party data from that brand). That level of accuracy is truly unprecedented in the location-based data space. And because our data has been able to deliver on this level of accuracy consistently, over and over again, we’ve built an incredible amount of trust with our customers. They come to us because they know what our data is capable of helping them to achieve.
The visual below is a great example of this in action. It shows how our data can accurately identify the 14,884 Starbucks locations across the U.S.
Every single point of interest (POI) in our Places dataset is precisely matched with its best-fitting polygon. More often than not, this aligns with the POI’s building footprint. However, there are a number of outliers that we have to look at in a lot more detail to ensure this information is being accurately represented. This includes things like strip malls or shopping centers where multiple businesses often live under a single roof.
The truth is, this is one of the most technical and cumbersome aspects of the location-data puzzle. High-quality polygons are extremely difficult to both engineer and produce. But when done right, it makes all the difference. This is also why a big chunk of our engineering team focuses squarely on this work. For us, it really is that important to get right.
We release a fresh, updated, and ever-growing batch of SafeGraph Places data every month. For us, this is absolutely critical. In fact, at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for accurate location-based data was more important than ever, so we updated our dataset weekly to ensure that governments, academic institutions, non-profit organizations, and businesses had the most up-to-date data to work with at all times.
As a point of comparison, most other data companies update their data only once per quarter or even once per year. We don’t think that’s enough. Especially at a time like this when, unfortunately, we’ve seen a lot of volatility in the market, with so many businesses opening and closing as a result of the pandemic. As such, foot traffic patterns have shifted in unique and somewhat unorthodox ways over the past year, beyond seasonal trends alone. This is especially the case as we begin to take a closer look at the intersection between state economies opening up again and the progress being made around a vaccine rollout.
The key takeaway here is simple: With so much changing at an ever-increasing pace, everyone needs access to the most accurate data in order to drive the most actionable insights.
Our goal is to make our data as easy to use as possible right from the get-go. So, our product team has gone the extra mile by putting everything that a data scientist—or anyone visiting our site—could ever need right on our SafeGraph Places Documentation page. This includes our schema, summary, statistics, data science resources, API documentation, and more.
And because we are laser-focused on ensuring that our customers get access to only the most accurate data at all times, we proactively alert customers whenever we find an error in the data to both make them aware of it and to let them know that we’re on a fix. We understand the impact that even the seemingly smallest errors can make, so we’ve made it a priority to maintain the highest level of transparency around all matters pertaining to our data.
While it goes without saying that all of the reasons above explain why you should partner with SafeGraph for your location-based data needs, the thing that should stand out in your mind—forgive us for saying this on repeat—is this: SafeGraph provides the most comprehensive, accurate, and up-to-date dataset on physical places in the market today.