October 18, 2010
Mobile and Analytics Technology Tracks How Mobile Apps are Used
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Susan Smith - Managing Editor

by Susan Smith - Managing Editor
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Industry News
Mobile and Analytics Technology Tracks How Mobile Apps are Used

By Susan Smith

A new mobile location analytics platform has been formed from the partnership of Appcelerator, a platform for developing native mobile, desktop and iPad applications using web technologies and FortiusOne, a location analysis software provider. The resulting Titanium+Geo platform makes it possible for enterprises, marketers and retailers to better understand where, when and how mobile applications are being used. According to press materials, business decision makers can now dynamically measure the impact of location-enabled mobile applications and social media on their company’s bottom line.

“This partnership unites two leading technologies from the mobile and analytics markets," said Frank Moyer, CEO, FortiusOne.  "It leverages GeoIQ, used by US intelligence agencies, to create the first enterprise-grade mobile analytics solution.  By partnering with Appcelerator, we have solved a problem many enterprises face with mobile technology - understanding where, when and how mobile applications are being used." 

Appcelerator’s Titanium+Geo is built on the core location analytics driving FortiusOne's GeoIQ platform and extends its capability to capture, analyze and visualize real-time data from mobile devices and social media services.  This complete data management, visualization, and analysis platform enables intuitive exploration, sharing and collaboration around geo-tagged data. 

The technology from FortiusOne makes it possible for developers to write mobile apps in regular programming languages and deploy them across multiple platforms such as Android, iPhone, Symbion, Blackberry, etc.

FortiusOne co-founder Sean Gorman said that the platform was built in response to users who want to put geolocation capabilities and LBS capabilities into their mobile apps. “Just below 50% planned on using location based services in the apps that they’re developing – from a survey of 70,000 developers,” said Gorman. “They wanted to get better analytics around how the mobile apps are being used and specifically how location is being used.”

A big problem for developers is showing their customers the ROI for building the applications they build. “Who is using it, how they are using it, where using it, what kind of brand recognition, ROI is created through that mobile app?” queried Gorman.

Metrics as well as visualization tools would help these developers show ROI. That’s where Appcelerator Titanium+Geo comes in – an application built on the GeoIQ platform to address those issues.

Developers wanted to know how when and where app being used, to measure location, app usage across their customers and then enable those developers and customers to make decisions about when to launch new products and enhance their products for new customers.

The developer community is seeing the intersection of two potential sources of data from their customers. This community has a lot of internal data being generated on coupons where mobile devices were being used, how they were being used, what functions were being called. They also found a lot of the developers’ customers had databases on where their customers were located as well as where they were instituting a marketing program.

Information collection included Twitter activity by keywords, demographics, and competitive information. Appcelerator wanted to be able to use that to get better data and statistics metrics around running promotions, selling advertising, opening new locations within the variety of customers that their developers were building out for.

“We integrated our location based analytic platform GeoIQ and integrated that into Titanium, which is the name of Appcelerator’s development platform to create Titanium+Geo to go through and fuse these things together and provide metrics their customers were looking for,” said Gorman. “On our end that was a lot of fusing of internal and external data – how we operate within the ecosystem of data. Within the enterprise, Appcelerator has a lot of valuable data in large amounts behind their firewalls sitting within their existing ERP, CRM and BI systems and related data, and external through the organization.”

More and more data is being geoenabled and made available to enterprises but often enterprises have a hard time understanding that information and seeing how they make it operational to their day-to-day needs. 

Information such as sensor data, data coming from the web, geoenabled social media services as well as institutional data for traditional indicators like demographics, economic, political information, environment, weather, climate -- all coming from the public domain and GeoIQ working as the platform to connect into these various data feeds, index them, and make them discoverable so they can be remixed and repurposed and overlaid. Appcelerator Titanium+Geo and mobile device data are the critical components, but also customer relationship management data, information from mobile devices, mentions on Twitters, entries from FourSquare, Census demographic information, latest data releases, and the 45,000 data sets in the FortiusOne GeoCommons data marketplace can be fused together to get better insight on metrics that are important to the customer driving the enterprise.

When a user creates a mobile app within Appcelerator Titanium+Geo, all the apps that are already in there will get dashboards automatically generated for them for all the LBS data they have already. “Any new apps that get created, as soon as you create that app if the data that the app is generating has a location component to it. It will automatically fire up a dashboard and start tracking the key metrics to use to look at those apps,” said Gorman.

A sample scenario was created for the sake of a demo of a mythical corporation named Pizzaland with 14 pizza locations. This business in the San Francisco Bay Area recently started participating in a mobile couponing service. They want to be able to see where those mobile coupons are being serviced, where redeemed, what kind of ROI they’re getting for investing in building this app for investing into a mobile service and then bringing in some additional information that used in context

The scenario shows activity before 7 a.m. - people looking for coupons before work; for lunchtime, you can see a lot of activity in the suburbs outside the city and then it starts to pick up inside the city as they start to go into the city for lunch. The screen shows dots where people look for lunch deals and stays pretty active. Then around the dinner hour, dots start to spread back out to the suburbs as people go back home to get dinner, and some people stay in the city as well. See Pizzaland Mobile Analysis here

Top News of the Week

The United States GIS Data Repository (USGDR), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to “Making Public Data Public”, has partnered with TractBuilder to provide Central Appraisal Districts and certain other county-level GIS programs free licenses of the TractBuilder Tools for ArcGIS, a set of tools counties can use to map polygons and lines according to legal descriptions.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation added a new mapping feature to its website to better explain the updated Transportation Improvement Program.

The state Transportation Commission in August approved the updated program, which reflected an expected 24-percent reduction in funding for improvements for highways, bridges, transit, aviation and rail freight.

Esri's newly released ArcGIS Viewer for Flex is a free, ready-to-deploy application for ArcGIS Server and ArcGIS Online services. Built with ArcGIS API for Flex version 2.1, it is designed for developers that want to customize the appearance, functionality, and content of their mapping applications without the need for programming.

Municipal and county officials, service organizations, researchers, and the general public will be able to freely use a wide array of local and regional data about community well-being, DataPlace and the Urban Institute announced.

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