Farry Argoebie, Terralogiq: "80% of all data has a location component, but only 10% is being used by businesses"
Business data is one of the most valuable assets in today’s cyber landscape. That includes private client files, internal company information, employees’ documents, and even geospatial data.
In fact, the majority of information stored in the digital form has location indicators. While they can be used by companies to better achieve their business goals, location data is also highly sought after by cybercriminals who use it for malicious purposes.
For this reason, Cybernews had a chat with Farry Argoebie, the CTO at Terralogiq, about location intelligence technology and ways how organizations can leverage their geospatial data for more informed business decision-making.
Let’s go back to the very beginning of Terralogiq. What has the journey been like since your launch in 2013?
It’s been quite a journey since the technology landscape has changed a lot since we started in 2013. We started as software developers, but gradually specialized in geospatial applications and mobile apps before finally achieving Google Cloud Premier Partner status in 2018. We now also provide services related to Google Maps and Google Cloud and help organizations of various industries leverage their geospatial data.
Can you introduce us to your Geo-Services? What makes them stand out from the crowd?
Our mission is to help organizations utilize geospatial data to make better decisions, whether it’s managing sales territories, designing supply chains or simply picking an optimal location for a new retail store. We do this by helping them collect location data, analyze, visualize and enrich them with help from Google Maps and other data sources. As such, we have experience working with organizations of various sizes and industries and understand how spatially-driven analytics can help them gain an edge and deliver on business goals.
You specialize in a practice called location intelligence. Can you briefly explain what this field entails?
Location Intelligence is an evolution from the traditional Geographic Information System (GIS), where we not only answer the where but also the why of location data, by deriving insights from geospatial data that an organization typically collects in its operations. Understanding not only where a sale happens, but also who purchased the item, where they come from, and what their habits are lead to a more in-depth understanding of consumer behavior and influences. Since a high percentage of data already has geographical information attached to it, insights about these relationships are readily available. Location Intelligence now allows for incorporating external data from a variety of sources that can be combined and updated dynamically in the cloud.
How did the recent global events affect your field of work? Did you add any new features as a result?
The impact of the pandemic is felt not only in our industry alone. However, what initially seemed like uncertainty in the industry turned out to be an opportunity, as many organizations were forced to adapt to the situation and accelerate their digital transformation efforts. Leveraging our expertise in working with spatial data and cloud technologies, we have helped many organizations adapt to working in the new normal and accelerate the digital transformation that is here to stay even after the pandemic is over.
In your opinion, which types of organizations could greatly benefit from harnessing location data?
In our experience, most organizations can directly benefit from harnessing location data immediately. Organizations with a physical presence that perform offline sales would have a tremendous benefit in identifying location and consumer profiles. However, organizations with primarily online sales can also harness location data to optimize order deliveries and operations. We also found that it’s especially interesting for organizations that do both offline and online sales as it enables them to enrich their datasets even further and convert online to offline sales and vice versa.
What other aspects of business operations do you hope to see automated or enhanced by technology in the next few years?
There are a lot of business decisions that could be expedited simply by gaining spatially-aware insights from an organization’s existing operations. This could include everyday operations metrics, like location data, or even higher-level revenue or performance data that can be tied into locations or individual performance. Here are a few examples:
- Logistics. A company may track individual truck locations to automate route and schedule planning.
- Telecommunications. Analyzing a company's usage dataset can give insight into consumer behavior and automate localized marketing efforts.
- Retail. A company could be simply tracking branch performances to expedite the process of market expansion.
Most of this operational data deals with locations and would require an understanding of how to process it to gain spatially-aware insights.
What predictions do you have for the future of technology in the geospatial and mobility fields?
A survey from Google found that 80% of all data has a location component, but only 10% is currently being used to power business decisions. This combined with the growing fields of data science and machine learning makes it especially interesting for organizations to explore how they can gain spatially-aware insights from their existing datasets, or be enriched with third-party location datasets.
In this age of ever-evolving technology, what do you think are the key security measures everyone should implement on their devices?
I think it’s extremely important not only to adopt security best practices from large technology companies, like Google, to secure the development process and infrastructure but also to properly educate your potential users on security risks on the application side. This is due to the prevalence of social engineering and phishing attacks on users who are unaware and potentially causing data breaches.
Would you like to share what’s next for Terralogiq?
We’re currently focused on delivering digital transformations for organizations that are interested in leveraging spatial data and insights to gain an edge over their competition and deliver on business goals. As we’re gaining more traction in cloud-native applications and machine learning use cases, we hope that in the future we could also help bring the same insights to organizations in the South-East Asian region.