ExtremeLocation Essentials: The Key that Unlocks Actionable Business Value from Real-Time Data Analytics


So – you thought you knew everything about your Wi-Fi and how to use it for your business? Fair enough. Over the years it has become such an integral part of our lives, both personal and professional, that perhaps many of us take it for granted.

However, Wi-Fi infrastructure has evolved well beyond traditional connectivity into a strategic business asset that can continually add value and improve operations.  We were reminded of this very fact at GITEX Global 2023, the world’s largest AI event, during which Extreme used its location and analytics solutions, ExtremeLocation Essentials, for the third year running to capture data about visitor engagement through our stand’s access points.

Let's rewind a little and understand what ExtremeLocation Essentials is.

Smart Tools for Smart Services

ExtremeLocation Essentials is a scalable, cloud-managed, real-time location and analytics solution that allows organizations to uncover previously untapped insights about visitors coming to their spaces and events. It is one of the many services offered under ExtremeCloud IQ and works by leveraging Wi-Fi and BLE location services to track and monitor devices that enter and exit the wireless range of our access points.

To better demonstrate exactly how beneficial this tool can be, we have deployed this solution at our stand at GITEX Global, an annual tech event hosted by the Dubai World Trade Center (DWTC). The results have been fascinating, and are a perfect example of the immense applications that this data can have across industries such as retail, sports and public venues, hotels and hospitality and beyond.

Now, let’s dive right into the meat of the matter – how can companies use a location-based analytics tool such as ExtremeLocation Essentials to better understand the spaces where they operate and how to extract more value? In addition, by doing so, how can they measure engagement and realize significant ROI?

Understanding Customer and Visitor Journeys

One of the main benefits of using such a tool is that we can capture in-depth data and analytics on how and when people are engaged – whether at shops, sports arenas or public attraction points. We do this by looking at real-time and historical location analysis and measuring engagement time at ‘zones’ mapped out by access points.

At GITEX 2023 for example, we could see that we had approximately 83,075 visitors to our stand during the week-long event, out of which we saw 15,493 visitors engaged between 5 minutes to 20 minutes – showing a higher level of interest. By comparing this data with last year, we saw an increase of 147% from 2022, highlighting the success of our interactive displays such as the showcase of our partnership with Manchester United and our ExtremeCloud IQ demo.

ExtremeLocation Graph 1

We could take this same concept to a retail store and find out whether new layouts, product launches, sales offers, etc., are leading to increased traffic and what impact they have on how long the customer spends in the store.

If you wanted to get in really deep with the numbers and data, you could even use site and zone-specific intelligence to add an extra layer of insights. By dividing an area such as a museum or a public amusement park into zones and analysing the data you capture, you can find out which exhibits or rides are high-engagement attractions.  Using this information, you could tailor your offerings and the way you engage with your visitors to ensure you continue to increase footfall and engagement – ultimately leading to higher ticket sales or product purchase rates and impacting your bottom line.

Resource Allocation

We can all agree that understanding our customers better is always a great thing. Once we understand them, however, we need to strategize to optimize our resources and enhance our engagements with them.

One way we can do that is to use tools like ExtremeLocation Essentials to analyse changes and traffic patterns year-on-year or even month-on-month and track which investments we are making that are leading to higher ROI. Have new advertisements for a certain product on a shop window led to higher footfall? Is a new Instagram-worthy spot at a public venue increasing the time spent there, and are more people repeating visits?

Yes, you can even track that! You can investigate how many people are repeat visitors or how often customers stay in a certain area. At GITEX 2023, analytics revealed 55,731 unique device impressions over the course of GITEX, giving us improved visibility into how many new people our stand was actually attracting.

ExtremeLocation Figure 2

Further, this data also helps us forecast and budget more carefully. By looking at our Extreme stand trends during GITEX 2023, because we had 152,482 total visitors and an increase of impressions and footfall of 40.5% (108,523) from 2022, we can see that the enhancements to our stand this year were successful and plan for the same investments in 2024.

We can also better manage staffing and employee tracking to accommodate footfall peaks and ebbs through the data we capture. Our analysis showed us that peak hours for our stand were between 2 and 4 PM each day, which is also when we had more visitors coming in for 5-20 minutes.

ExtremeLocation Figure 3

This would be particularly helpful for managing shift schedules for restaurants or hospitals. At events, organizers can plan ahead for which spaces need more staffing and on-site teams during certain periods of the day.

Tracking visit patterns can also be immensely helpful as we can manage visitor traffic. Looking through the lens of a hotel for example, if we can analyze where guests are spending the most time, we could identify road-blocks and administration pain-points and introduce changes that reduce wait times and speed-up visitor journeys.

Smarter Ways for Better Results

The diversity of use cases in which ExtremeLocation Essentials can be deployed in public spaces presents endless possibilities across industries. By capturing and analysing the data on where, when, and how to best engage the people visiting our stores, hospitals, venues, and events, organizations can gain unprecedented visibility into the effectiveness of their engagement strategies. However, more than that, we now have the capability to combine these learnings and translate them into meaningful action that not only drastically impacts business outcomes but also - if utilised correctly - transforms experiences for the people visiting our spaces in a memorable way.

Well, there you go! Now you know a little bit more about Wi-Fi, location analytics and how to use them for your business. To learn more, check out our product guide on ExtremeCloud IQ Essentials

About the Author
Matthew Palmer
META Sales Engineering Manager

Matthew Palmer is an integral part of the META team, having worked for Extreme Networks for over 20 years

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