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The Physical World Data Ecosystem

by 
Noam Ben-Zvi
 on 
June 22, 2022
The Physical World Data Ecosystem

No single data company alone can tell the whole story of “what’s really going on” in the physical world.

That’s why we at Placer.ai track, analyze and sometimes collaborate with a diverse ecosystem of data providers, each contributing its own component. When pieced together, they can yield comprehensive insights and reports that answer key business questions.

For the first time, we’re sharing publicly who some of these companies are and where they contribute to the physical world story.

We had some initial doubts over whether to share this list openly. But, it quickly became clear that we want to prioritize supporting a public conversation that will benefit everyone.

So, what datasets generate the most valuable insights for real-world decision-makers? 

The Physical World Data Ecosystem
* Each category is limited to 10 logos and also only includes companies we at Placer.ai know well either first-hand or through our customers. 

Some Data Ecosystem Specs

  • 209 logos / 184 unique logos. 
  • 176 unique companies or government entities are represented (as some logos are divisions or subsidiaries).
  • One-third founded in the last 10 years, 12 founded only in the last 5 years.
  • 35% belong to companies founded in the 20th century, or before. (The oldest? Dun & Bradstreet founded in 1841!)
  • 70% private companies, 26% publicly traded, 4% government or NGOs.

The importance of an ecosystem

None of these datasets can fully answer business questions on their own. To generate a comprehensive answer to questions such as “where should we open our chain’s next store?”, you need a host of datasets, each giving a unique perspective. 

Some examples:

  • Mobility data indicates where you can likely capture the largest new audience.
  • Demographic & psychographic data suggests how suitable a product is to that audience.
  • Financial & credit data shows consumers’ spending capacity.
  • Construction, crime and weather data each reveal potential hazards in the surrounding area.

And so on.

Soon after Placer.ai began its contribution with the novel and disruptive mobility dataset, we expanded the story our platform tells to include data on building construction, weather, crime, traffic and more. Meanwhile, we're also partnering with others in this ecosystem to promote their data in our Data Marketplace. The physical world Market Intelligence Platform we’re building aims to draw on all the key elements of this ecosystem to build a truly comprehensive decision-making machine.

What’s fueling the ecosystem’s growth?

We see a roughly even three-way split between companies founded pre-21st century, those established in the 2000s, and new additions in the last decade.

This split will become increasingly lopsided in favor of new players, as a flurry of exciting data sets are maturing, and we’re finding new ways to use them. (We’ll keep this updated…)

What’s fueling the geospatial big data boom?

  1. Technological advances, especially the ubiquity of smartphones and improvements in lithium-ion battery performance, satellites and sensors, artificial intelligence, cloud computing and innovative means to process big data and improve its usefulness.
  2. Data-driven decision-making has become the norm among a new generation of managers.
  3. Company budgets for tools and data are increasing. One study projected a 12.8% CAGR increase in global big data and business analytics spending over the period 2021-2025.
  4. COVID-19 caused unprecedented consumer behavior fluctuations which accelerated the demand for the ground truth visibility that big data provides.

Looking ahead

In 2021, $32 billion of venture capital streamed into the proptech sector - a 28% increase from 2020. The fruits of this investment will be visible in the months and years ahead. Reports suggest the geospatial analytics market size will continue to grow by a CAGR of up to 15% over the next three years, reaching over $134 billion by 2028. 

Given the pace of technological innovation together with the magnitude and needs of the physical world market, it seems this is just the beginning for this thriving ecosystem of companies.

In sharing the above map, we aim to give a taste of the ecosystem of data categories and companies that are fueling decision-making across commercial real estate, brick-and-mortar retail, and beyond.

We don’t yet know every ecosystem player; we’re learning on a daily basis. And datasets are joining and growing all the time. 

If you’d like to suggest an addition or have any other feedback, tell us here.

Click here to contact or follow me on LinkedIn.

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