Why Graph Technology is the Next Frontier of Privacy-First Insights

Organizations across nearly every industry can benefit from a deeper understanding of places and the movement between them. Questions around location intelligence pop up on a daily basis because decisions around things like staffing, supply-chain optimization and site selection are all deeply linked with movement trends.

However, many companies shy away from this type of data for privacy reasons. In fact, nearly half (48%) of data strategy leaders say they’re not using location intelligence as effectively as they could be because “complying with privacy regulations is hard,” according to a recent study by Forrester Consulting. 

In response to these challenges, we created Foursquare Graph, a disruptive technology that is paving the way for companies to make data-driven decisions while prioritizing consumer privacy. The first-of-its-kind, our Graph is transforming how businesses capture value from location intelligence. This novel application of graph technology marks a key milestone in Foursquare’s evolution, complementing years of deep machine learning and over a decade of safeguarding consumer privacy. 

“Foursquare Graph marks an important step in the evolution of Foursquare as a company and as a leader in data privacy,” said Elizabeth Hein, Foursquare’s VP Compliance & Data Protection. “It demonstrates our deep commitment to privacy-first innovation and lays a fortified foundation for future implementations that will allow us to continue serving customers, all while protecting data to the fullest extent. With Foursquare Graph, we’re shifting focus to answer vital business questions through aggregated trends.”

Understanding consumer behavior in the physical world typically requires the exposure of individualized data – a process that carries complex privacy implications, yet is still an industry standard. Graph technology solves for this issue by surfacing trends and insights in aggregate, further protecting consumer data and aligning with Foursquare’s mission to serve as a pioneer in privacy. 

Briefly – here’s how it works:  

By connecting different geospatial datasets, Foursquare Graph enables us to answer business questions about places and how groups of people interact with these places. 

With Foursquare Graph, we can easily run complex queries to help businesses better understand nuanced consumer behaviors in the physical world, without ever sharing the movement data of an individual. This means that we can address the same key use cases for location intelligence that we always have, from trade area analysis and lead generation to competitive intelligence, but because Foursquare Graph insights are generated at an aggregate level, individual movements are never discernible. 

So what’s next? “With Foursquare Graph, Foursquare aims to be a strategic value driver through unparalleled agility and speed” said Gary Little, President and CEO of Foursquare. “Implementing Graph technology unveils a fresh take on how movement and places data can be leveraged throughout the decision-making process to produce maximum insights with minimal exposure. We’re excited to share this geospatial innovation with customers and to continue inventing the future of location intelligence together.”

Confident that consumers’ privacy is protected, businesses can start to make better use of location intelligence to drive business results. Learn more about the Foursquare Graph.

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