Chapter 10The Importance of Location

‘Everything and Everyone is somewhere.’ This expression could have been written specifically for the insurance industry which is perhaps one of the most location-orientated industries of all. In general insurance, all property is somewhere, with insurers continually considering whether there is a likelihood of storm or flood to these properties. Equally, in both life and non-life insurance, insurers recognize that all their policyholders are somewhere, thus making the topic of location critical in terms of sales and underwriting.

10.1 Location Analytics

In describing Big Data by the ‘5 Vs’ (volume, variety, velocity, value and veracity), the final ‘V,’ that of veracity or ‘truthfulness,’ is absolutely underpinned by the topic of geography and location. The map never lies and location is arguably an absolute truth in terms of the Big Data agenda. In fact there is an argument for dropping the expression ‘map’ in this context. A map is ‘just’ a pictorial record of location-specific data and provides no more than a snapshot of information by way of a form of visualization, in much the same way that a dashboard is only a record of events at a moment in time.

Unlike analytics, location addresses itself in many ways and in many names: location analytics, spatial analytics, GIS, geographic information systems, spatial temporal analytics and others. At the end of the day it is an element of Big Data which, through geocoding, adds another critical ...

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