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In this POI data guide, you’ll learn all there is to know about points-of-interest (POI) data. What is a POI? What are the advantages of using POI data? What are some of the most common use cases? Be sure to check out the real-life success stories using POI data highlighted at the end of this blog.

Imagine you’re in a new city, looking for the perfect spot to unwind after a long day of exploring. You browse the internet for local businesses in your city, and stumble upon a listing for a cosy café nestled in a quaint neighbourhood. 

The listing provides you with information such as its name, address, and perhaps a brief description.

This café, like many others, is a point of interest—a noteworthy location worth exploring.

While you might use this information to find a great coffee spot, businesses see endless possibilities in such data.

This collection of points of interest is what we refer to as Points of Interest (POI) data.

In the data-driven era, POI data is essential for businesses, offering crucial insights into consumer behaviour and aiding in location-based decision-making, and providing a competitive advantage by keeping businesses informed about emerging trends and competitor activities.

In this POI data guide, we’ll delve deeper into: 

What is a POI?

Points of Interest (POIs) are specific locations or landmarks that hold significance within a given area.

These can range from businesses like:

  • Restaurants
  • Hotels
  • Shopping malls
  • Retail stores

Landmarks such as:

  • Parks
  • Museums
  • Historical sites

…and more.

Essentially, POIs are places that people may find useful or of interest to someone.

In the context of data collection and analysis, POIs are typically represented as geographical coordinates (latitude and longitude) along with additional information such as the name, address, category, and sometimes ratings or reviews.

How does a location become a POI?

Not every location is a POI.

A location becomes a POI primarily based on its level of interest or significance for a particular purpose.

Whether it’s due to popularity, cultural or historical importance, business activities, natural beauty, or events and activities, there’s one key criterion for a location to become a POI: its appeal to people or businesses.

What is POI data?

POI data, true to its name, is essentially the information about any noteworthy POI.

But what kind of information does it include?

Information about a given POI can vary according to the location, as well as the data provider.

However it typically — although not always — includes information such as:

  • Location coordinates: The geographical coordinates (latitude and longitude) of the point of interest
  • Name/title: The name or title of the POI
  • Category/type: The category or type of the point of interest, which classifies it into various groups such as restaurants, hotels, parks, hospitals, gas stations, banks, etc.
  • Industry: The industry the POI belongs to
  • Address: The postal address or physical location
  • Contact information: Contact details such as phone number, email address, or website URL, which allow users to communicate with or obtain more information about the point of interest.
  • Opening/closing hours: The operating hours or schedule of the POI, indicating when it is open or closed to visitors.
  • Description/details: Additional information or details about the point of interest, such as amenities, services, facilities, historical significance, user reviews, ratings, etc.
  • Reviews/ratings: User-generated reviews and ratings of the POI
  • Additional attributes: Any other relevant attributes or metadata associated with the point of interest, such as payment methods accepted, accessibility features, Wi-Fi availability, etc.

POI data gives us basic information of location intelligence (the process of deriving meaningful insights from spatial data).

Yet, there’s an opportunity to enhance this information by incorporating additional layers such as sentiment analysis and popularity metrics.

However, we’ll delve deeper into data enrichment in another section later in this blog.

Types of POI data

There are several types of POI data.

Among the most popular types of POI data are:

  • Commercial POIs: These include businesses such as restaurants, hotels, retail stores, gas stations, banks, etc.
  • Recreational POIs: Such as parks, recreational facilities, tourist attractions, museums, theatres, sports stadiums, etc.
  • Public Service POIs: Including government buildings, hospitals, schools, police stations, fire stations, post offices, libraries, etc.
  • Transportation POIs: These comprise airports, train stations, bus stops, subway stations, taxi stands, parking lots, etc.
  • Social POIs: These encompass places where social activities occur, such as community centres, churches, mosques, temples, restaurants, bars, etc
  • Natural POIs: Natural landmarks such as mountains, rivers, lakes, beaches, forests, and conservation areas fall into this category
  • Educational POIs: These comprise schools, colleges, universities, research institutions, and educational facilities.
  • Healthcare POIs: These include hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, medical centres, and healthcare facilities
  • Utility POIs: Cover infrastructure elements like power plants, water treatment facilities, cell towers, substations, etc

…and more.

Depending on your industry, as well as your needs as a business, you’ll need one or more of the above POI types to reach your goals.

Naturally, a combination of these will give you a more holistic view of a given area, city, or country — so knowing which to choose is the key to maximising POIs to their full potential.

Why are POIs important for businesses?

The question is, why should any given business care about POIs?

The answer is that POI data is essential for a plethora of reasons, many of which are often overlooked or managed using conventional methods that may not always prove effective.

The following are just a few ways businesses can use POI data to reach their goals:

  • Discoverability and customer convenience: Being marked as a point of interest on maps and navigation applications increases the likelihood of customers discovering the business, whether they’re locals or visitors to the area. This is particularly crucial for small or local businesses that might not have extensive marketing budgets.
  • Competitive advantage: Having a prominent presence as a POI can give a business a competitive edge over others in the area. Customers are more likely to choose a business that’s easy to find and accessible.
  • Trust and credibility: Being recognised as a point of interest can enhance a business’s reputation and credibility. It implies that the business is established and noteworthy enough to be included on maps and directories.
  • Data insights: For businesses, being listed as a POI provides valuable data insights. They can analyse foot traffic patterns, understand where their customers are coming from, and tailor their marketing efforts accordingly.
  • Local SEO boost: POIs positively impact a business’s local search engine optimisation (SEO) efforts, improving its visibility in local search results and attracting more organic traffic.

Turning POI data into insights

So how does raw POI data turn into actionable insights? And how can it drive decision-making and enhance our understanding of the world around us?

Through various techniques and methods, raw POI data can be transformed into actionable insights that not only inform strategic decisions but also enhance our understanding of the world around us.

The following are some of the most-common techniques used:

1. Data clustering

Data clustering involves grouping similar POIs together based on their spatial proximity or shared characteristics.

Clustering helps identify spatial patterns, hotspots, and areas of interest within a geographical region. By understanding the spatial distribution of POIs, stakeholders can make informed decisions regarding resource allocation, urban planning, and targeted marketing strategies.

Discover our Location Data Packs that are organised by location, and our POI Data Packs  that are organised by Point Of Interests (POI).

2. Data enrichment

Data enrichment involves augmenting raw POI data with additional attributes such as user reviews, ratings, categories, and historical information.

Enriched POI data provides deeper insights into the characteristics and quality of POIs. Stakeholders can use this information to assess the popularity, reputation, and relevance of POIs, enabling them to tailor their offerings, improve customer experiences, and optimise business operations.

3. Data classification

Data classification categorises POIs into predefined classes or categories based on their type, function, or purpose.

Classification enables efficient organisation and retrieval of POI data, facilitating targeted analysis and decision-making. By categorising POIs into meaningful groups, stakeholders can identify trends, preferences, and demand patterns, guiding strategic planning, and investment decisions.

4. Data augmentation

Data augmentation involves generating additional data points or enhancing existing entries through extrapolation, interpolation, or simulation.

Understanding dataset nuances informs effective augmentation technique selection, while diverse augmentation mitigates overfitting and improves model generalisation. Fine-tuning parameters ensures quality control, and continuous evaluation guides refinement. Optimising based on feedback enhances training and model robustness.

5. Trend analysis

Trend analysis involves examining how POI data changes over time, such as daily, weekly, monthly, or seasonally.

This kind of analysis reveals time-dependent patterns, trends, and fluctuations in POI activity. Understanding temporal variations helps stakeholders optimise operations, schedule promotions, and allocate resources effectively, aligning with peak demand periods and seasonal trends.

6. Sentiment analysis

Sentiment analysis evaluates the sentiment expressed in user-generated content associated with POIs, such as reviews, comments, and social media posts.
In this case, this analysis provides insights into public perception, satisfaction levels, and sentiment towards POIs. By analysing sentiment, stakeholders can identify areas for improvement, address negative feedback, and enhance the overall customer experience, driving positive brand sentiment and loyalty.

7. Geospatial visualisation

Geospatial visualisation techniques visualise POI data on maps, heatmaps, and spatial layers to identify spatial relationships, distribution patterns, and geographic trends.

Through geospatial visualisation, businesses gain intuitive insights into spatial patterns and relationships within POI data. Visualising POI distributions, clusters, and densities helps stakeholders identify emerging trends, locate optimal business locations, and plan infrastructure development, guiding strategic decision-making processes.

POI data common applications

POI data plays a crucial role in enhancing location-based services, optimising business operations, and improving user experiences across various industries.

But in practical terms, how do businesses use POI data?

The following are some of the most-common applications:

1. Marketing intelligence

Retailers and marketers use POI data to refine their marketing strategies, targeting consumers through location-based advertising, optimising out-of-home (OOH) placements, and enhancing mobile app experiences.

Leveraging POI data, businesses tailor marketing efforts to reach potential customers near specific points of interest such as stores, restaurants, or tourist attractions. Mobile apps deliver personalised offers based on a user’s location, enriching experiences.

Learn more about data-driven marketing intelligence

2. Destination management

Destination managers and government agencies rely on POI data to conduct comprehensive analyses crucial for informed urban development projects.

By leveraging POI data, they can evaluate population density, traffic patterns, and the distribution of amenities within cities.

This information guides decisions regarding infrastructure improvements, expansions of public transportation, and establishment of zoning regulations.

Destination managers strategically employ POI data to identify areas where development efforts can yield the most significant benefits for residents and communities.

This approach ensures that urban development projects are implemented efficiently and in alignment with the needs and preferences of the population.

Discover more destination management 

3. Tourism and hospitality

Businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector harness POI data to streamline operations and enrich customer experiences.

By utilising POI data, they can tailor marketing strategies to target visitors interested in nearby attractions, gain insights into customer preferences, and offer personalised recommendations based on location.

Analysing competitors’ locations helps in strategic positioning, while optimising transportation routes improves efficiency. Additionally, POI data informs destination management decisions, guiding infrastructure development and marketing efforts.

4. Site selection and property management

Businesses (especially retail and FMCG businesses), real estate agents, and property managers leverage POI data to facilitate site selection processes for prospective buyers, tenants, or businesses.

Through POI information on nearby amenities, schools, parks, and public transportation options, stakeholders gain comprehensive insights into the surrounding neighbourhood.

This data-driven approach enriches the decision-making process by providing valuable details about the locality and its amenities, thus aiding in the evaluation of a location’s attractiveness for investment, project development, or establishing a new business site.

Read more about site selection

5. Fleet management and logistics

Logistics companies employ POI data to streamline their operations by optimising delivery routes, efficiently managing vehicle fleets, and strategically identifying distribution centres and warehouses.

This data-driven approach allows them to minimise costs and maximise efficiency in the transportation of goods. Similarly, transportation companies leverage POI data to ensure precise pickup and drop-off locations for passengers and shipments.

By integrating POI data into their systems, transportation companies can provide accurate and reliable service while enhancing the overall customer experience.

6. Investments and risk management

In investments and risk management, POI data is crucial for guiding decisions and minimising risks.

It helps investment firms analyse market trends, identify opportunities, and assess potential risks associated with specific locations or industries.

By leveraging POI data, investors can make informed decisions, adjust portfolios, and evaluate the creditworthiness of borrowers more accurately.

How can POI data minimise investment risk? Learn more.

7. Reputation analysis

In reputation analysis, Points of Interest (POI) data serves as a valuable resource for evaluating public perception and sentiment towards individuals, businesses, or entities

By analysing POI data from various sources such as social media, review platforms, and news articles, organisations can gain insights into how they are perceived by their target audience and the general public. 

This information helps in boosting brand reputation and customer experience. And that means better business metrics. 

Additionally, POI data enables organisations to monitor online conversations, track sentiment trends, and respond promptly to any negative feedback or crises that may arise.

Curious to learn how POI data can boost your reputation? Discover more.

Challenges of POI data

We’ve covered the opportunities and use cases of POI data.

But what about its challenges?

POI data presents several challenges, with the major one being ensuring your data is accurate, reliable, and fresh.

POI data is under constant evolution. This means that new locations gain significance, while existing ones may close down or lose their appeal. Additionally, the popularity of certain places can experience rapid fluctuations, influenced by various factors such as trends, events, or changes in local infrastructure.

The primary challenge here lies in guaranteeing that databases do not contain outdated or incomplete information. Ensure the currency of POI data to avoid basing decisions on outdated information.

Are you searching for a reliable POI data provider but don’t know where to start?

Check out our ultimate guide to choosing your ideal POI data provider

Privacy concerns also arise when handling location-based data, requiring businesses to adhere to stringent regulations to protect user privacy. 

Another challenge is the complexity of data integration and analysis, as POI data often comes from disparate sources and formats, requiring sophisticated tools and expertise for meaningful insights. 

An additional hurdle is ensuring the security of data and preventing unauthorised access or misuse. This involves implementing robust security measures to safeguard sensitive information from potential breaches or exploitation, and requires continuous monitoring, regular updates, and adherence to industry best practices to mitigate risks effectively.

The top five best practices for utilising Points of Interest (POI) data effectively

Data quality assurance

Ensure the accuracy, completeness, and reliability of the POI data. Perform regular data validation and cleansing processes to eliminate duplicates, correct inaccuracies, and update outdated information.

Privacy and compliance

Adhere to strict data privacy regulations and industry standards when collecting, storing, and processing POI data. Obtain explicit consent from users when collecting location-based information and implement robust security measures to safeguard sensitive data.

Data integration and standardisation

Consolidate POI data from multiple sources and formats into a unified dataset using standardised formats and protocols. Implement data integration strategies to ensure seamless compatibility and interoperability across different systems and applications.

Contextual analysis and insights

Analyse POI data in conjunction with other relevant datasets to derive meaningful insights and actionable intelligence. Consider contextual factors such as user demographics, behaviour patterns, and environmental variables to gain a comprehensive understanding of location-based trends and preferences.

Continuous improvement and innovation

Embrace a culture of continuous improvement and innovation by regularly exploring new technologies, methodologies, and best practices in POI data analytics. Foster collaboration with industry peers, academia, and technology partners to stay abreast of emerging trends and developments in the field.

POI data success stories

At Data Appeal, we provide industry-leading POI data packages enriched with sentiment and popularity KPIs.

Through our reliable, granular, and up-to-date information about any country and Point of Interest, we’ve helped businesses across all industries to boost their marketing strategies, improve their location intelligence, and optimise risk assessment and insurance.

Below are some of our success stories that show the immense power POI data holds:

Poste Italiane CRM data enrichment: Sentiment analysis for enhanced growth opportunities

Poste Italiane, Italy’s national postal service, undertook a strategic effort to enhance its commercial strategies.

Their goal? To refine their Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and internal database, resulting in more comprehensive profiles for their operators and potential customers.

To achieve this, they engaged in a meticulous collaboration across departments, specifically with teams in Open Innovation, Digital, Technology, and Operations.

This joint effort paved the way for a data enrichment project, focusing on analysing reputation data and feedback from social networks in partnership with Data Appeal.

Leveraging advanced AI technology, they integrated unique and valuable Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) into their CRM. This comprehensive approach provided Poste Italiane with invaluable insights into both their operators and potential customers, empowering them to make well-informed business decisions and adopt more effective commercial strategies.

Read the full customer story

Putting your brand on the map: Using location data for international expansion strategy

An international spirits industry leader aimed to expand its liquor product into Mediterranean markets using data-driven insights. Our precise POI data, enriched with location, sentiment, and popularity metrics, empowered the client to make informed decisions on distributor selection and expansion strategies, with insights down to 150 sq. metres.

With access to over 60,000 POIs and qualitative information, the client effectively identified potential sites based on sentiment and popularity scores, leading to targeted investments with higher ROI. Additionally, our data enabled analysis of popular areas, busy times, and seasonal trends, aiding in selecting distribution locations.

This data-driven approach facilitated the client’s international expansion goals, providing insights into industry trends and potential audiences. It allowed for confident entry into untapped markets, exporting expertise, and establishing steady demand for products in a growing industry.

Read the full customer story

Harnessing location data to unlock multinational market expansion opportunities

Expanding into new markets can be both thrilling and daunting. When a leading soft drink producer acquired a renowned coffeehouse chain, it sought to strengthen its presence in Eastern Europe’s burgeoning market using location data.

By harnessing Data Appeal’s Location Intelligence solution, the client efficiently evaluated potential site locations. They used geospatial POI data, enriched with sentiment analysis and popularity metrics, to gauge online conversations about various points of interest and brands.

This data-driven approach minimised guesswork, providing reliable insights to inform marketing, brand expansion, and site selection strategies from development to maintenance. Teaming up with Carto, Data Appeal delivered detailed geospatial data across 20 countries, empowering the client with precise datasets to optimise site choices and market analysis. This method enabled a deep understanding of global market dynamics, helping the coffeehouse chain identify promising areas for expansion, strategically plan growth, and achieve lasting success.

Read the full customer story

The power of data enrichment: Discovering the best OOH advertising spots in Australia

One of the major hurdles in Out-of-home (OOH) advertising is pinpointing the right locations for these ads. Our client, a global leader in market research, sought accurate and current data to assist businesses in understanding and capitalising on audiences through OOH media.

Specifically, they required data on traffic and pedestrian flows, peak and off-peak hours, and more — crucial factors for successful OOH advertising. We supplied the client with enriched location data, including business details, addresses, opening hours, popularity, and sentiment scores.

This comprehensive approach empowered the client to identify optimal OOH locations based on their target audience, reducing uncertainty and enabling confident decisions on strategic outdoor advertising placements.

This case highlights how, even in a digital-focused era, traditional marketing methods like OOH can be enhanced using data-driven insights, offering a competitive edge and strengthening marketing strategies.

Read the full customer story

Make the right moves with top-notch data for strategic data-driven decisions with Data Appeal

To ensure you’re reaping the maximum benefits for your business, it’s crucial to have access to top-tier Points of Interest (POI) data.

At Data Appeal, we pride ourselves on providing industry-leading POI data solutions. Our data packs offer reliable, granular, and continually updated information on POIs worldwide, enriched with sentiment and popularity key performance indicators (KPIs).

With our comprehensive POI data, you can enhance the return on investment of your marketing strategies, improve location intelligence, and optimise risk assessment and insurance. Whether you’re seeking core POI data packs or rich, advanced information on POIs, we have the right package to meet your needs.

Trusted by renowned companies across various industries, our data solutions have delivered remarkable results, from cost savings to reduced time-to-market.

Elevate your business decisions with Data Appeal’s unparalleled POI data offerings.

Contact us today to get started and experience the difference great data can make.