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O2 Motion: Evolving crowd and trend data in 2020

Only a few years ago, businesses seeking to gain knowledge from meaningful trends based on crowd data, profiles and preferences had to rely on traditional data capture methods like market research surveys, counts and cameras.

That’s why we developed O2 Motion, a service that uses anonymised and aggregated data created by the mobile phone network to offer insight into movement trends across the UK. As mobile devices connect to different masts, they create data footprints which we then anonymise, aggregate and extrapolate in order to gain a picture of how people are travelling, when they make journeys and which areas they visit.

Data for good

O2 Motion has supported organisations across a broad range of sectors. In retail, we have used O2 Motion data with major brands to identify where their shoppers have come from, or to help decide where to open or retain stores. For media organisations, it has helped to identify optimal locations to reach particular audiences based on demographic, lifestyle and behavioural attributes. We’ve also worked with property businesses, using O2 Motion to plan and measure the effectiveness of events, or to attract new retailers to a development.

O2 Motion data has proved invaluable in the transport sector as well, and never more so than in 2020. This year, government departments and national organisations have urgently needed to understand public movements, on a daily basis, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here’s how O2 has been supporting the UK government departments throughout 2020:

Office for National Statistics (ONS)

Mobility usage has proved to be just one use-case for which trend data and analysis has been central to our collective response to the pandemic. As the COVID-19 pandemic began to take hold, ONS were looking for timely, reliable data sets that would help them establish movement trends among the population, which could then be used to gain insight and inform the country’s response.

O2 Motion has been able to provide an accurate and reliable picture of how groups of people are moving around their neighbourhoods and across the country. O2 Motion’s data is anonymous and aggregated, it contains an extensive range of insights into the travel of different demographics (old, young, male, female, etc.) as well as income groups, length of journey, dwell time and much more.

Throughout this extraordinary year, O2 has been working with ONS to develop new data sets, analyse existing data and offer new insights.

You can read more about how O2 has been working with ONS on the UK’s pandemic response in our case study.

Department for Transport (DfT)

In a typical year, the Department for Transport typically compiles and publishes transport usage and mobility statistics either quarterly or annually. But 2020 is no one’s definition of a typical year. In fact, in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK, the DfT required urgent information about crowd data on a daily basis – to monitor and assess how changes in policy were reflected in mobility, both overall and in different parts of the country.

O2 Motion data has been helping DfT to build an extrapolated understanding of UK public travel during the pandemic. The detailed, daily travel data O2 has provided helps to review how mobility patterns have been changing, and continue to change, in near real time – from which the key insights have been added into briefing packs for ministers each day.

As lockdown restrictions began to ease, O2 Motion’s daily data updates were able to show fast-changing travel patterns which could have direct influence on infrastructure and emergency services planning, particularly in areas which were potential infection hotspots, such as beaches and city centres as people returned to work.

Throughout much of 2020, our teams have been working around the clock to deliver near real time daily reports with raw data and analytical insight which could be turned into government briefing packs by DfT analysts within just a few hours.

You can read the full case study here.

Find out more

O2 Motion is being used by companies across a broad range of sectors, including property and construction, retail, media, and transport. For more details about O2 Motion, and how it can help your organisation, click here.

Alternatively, you can call us now on 0800 955 5590 or complete this enquiry form.


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