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Understanding the Economy with INRIX and SafeGraph Data


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The Problem

In today's fast-paced financial landscape, the significance of alternative data for investors cannot be overstated. Traditional financial metrics and indicators only provide part of the picture, often lagging real-time market movements. Alternative data, on the other hand, provides investors with the ability to uncover hidden trends, assess market sentiment, and gain a competitive edge.

In the world of data-driven decision-making, investors are presented with a plethora of options, each holding its own unique potential. Below we explore two different ways alt data is helping Wall Street make better investment decisions: 

  1. Consumer trends/predictive insights: This involves providing Trip counts to significant points of interest (POI) like theme parks, casinos, hotels, restaurants, and retail shops. By doing so, investors can gain insights into a business's financial health over specific time periods.
  2. Commercial Vehicle Activity: Examining the movements of commercial fleets around manufacturing, distribution, logistics, and shipping facilities. This data helps correlate supply chain dynamics with changing consumer behaviors.

The primary goal is straightforward: Identify datasets that correlate with a company’s revenue, or other operational metrics (e.g. inventory levels, attendance, sales, visits, specific revenue streams etc). Can these datasets provide signals indicating a company's strengths or weaknesses in current market conditions? Are companies responding effectively to evolving consumer demands and supply chain challenges?

Many investors are now searching for a comprehensive solution that eliminates the need to procure and connect disparate datasets individually. They want partnerships among data providers to simplify access to vital information, streamlining their decision-making processes.

The Problem-Solver: INRIX

Since 2004, INRIX has been a prominent provider of data and insights into global mobility patterns. Initially focused on the automotive and transportation industries, INRIX gained recognition for innovative solutions using real-time parking and traffic data, particularly in facilitating the safe testing of autonomous vehicles. Over time, INRIX expanded into other sectors, notably assisting state and city governments in enhancing road efficiency and safety.

INRIX recently ventured into the financial services industry by offering investors and analysts access to its proprietary Trips dataset. To make and deliver data-driven insights to the investment community at scale, INRIX needed to enhance its vehicle trips data with precise geospatial information on POIs. This effort aimed to shed light on the details of trips between various locations and their relevance to consumer visitation, retail trends, distribution, manufacturing activities, and more.

According to Phil DeFrancesco, INRIX's Head of Product, Financial Services, "The investment community relies on us to provide straightforward answers to complex questions. We have put in the effort behind the scenes to simplify their ability to act on our insights. We just needed the right data partner to make this happen."

The Solution: Partnership between INRIX Trips Plus and SafeGraph Places

Dealing with diverse datasets and the manual work required to manage them can be challenging for investment managers due to data heterogeneity and vendor fragmentation. With Trips Plus, which includes SafeGraph Places, these challenges are eliminated. Investors can now analyze consumer trends, supply chain efficiency, and manufacturing output across public and private companies seamlessly. This analysis assists in identifying investment opportunities and generating alpha for portfolios.

Trips Plus combines INRIX's high-quality passenger and commercial vehicle Trip data with SafeGraph's attribute rich POI data. This unique combination of data sources empowers investment professionals to optimize portfolio allocations, manage risk effectively, and uncover market insights well before they appear in earnings reports or become widespread trends.

After evaluating various data sources, INRIX selected SafeGraph as the ideal partner to enhance its Trips dataset with detailed geospatial information. SafeGraph's comprehensive POI coverage and robust parking lot dataset were key factors in this decision. Recognizing the potential for growth, SafeGraph expanded its Places dataset to include additional POIs related to manufacturing, distribution, logistics, and shipping facilities to meet INRIX's specific requirements.

Ross Epstein, SVP of Product at SafeGraph, expressed excitement about the partnership, stating, "By combining insightful connected vehicle data with detailed and up-to-date points of interest, investors can now spend more time reviewing trade performance and boosting their portfolio."

The Result: Unlocking New Insights with Trips Plus

Historically, investors analyzed passenger and commercial vehicle trip data separately. However, Trips Plus with SafeGraph’s Places provides a significant opportunity to assess whether a brand's manufacturing, logistics, distribution, or shipping activities align with consumer behaviors or diverge from them. For example, the data can detect discrepancies between increased manufacturing and shipping activities and decreased store visits before inventory backlogs occur. 

Such information – only available in INRIX Trips Plus – enables the investment community to answer critical questions more easily, leading to informed investment strategies and timely business decisions.

Interested in SafeGraph’s POI data?