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Purdue Partners with Digital Envoy for ‘Data for Impact’ Program - Studies will measure the impact of retail crime, ways to improve public transportation


Digital Envoy, a pioneer of IP intelligence and high-quality consent-based location data, is partnering with the Purdue University School of Business for its data for good program, Data for Impact, on research examining how retail crime impacts consumer demand and how accessibility to public transportation can be improved.

The media and information services company introduced the concept of privacy-sensitive IP-based geolocation and IP intelligence in 1999. Digital Envoy’s technology allows businesses, from ad networks to publishers, websites, retailers and more, to harness the power of location and new intelligence about connected users for many mission-critical applications.

The Data for Impact program aims to educate consumers about the realities and benefits of IP and geolocation data, reform the location data industry from the inside out, and provide the advantages of location data to causes and organizations that otherwise might not have access to it.

“Offering data for projects that are working to do good in the world is our way of giving back. We’re helping to level the playing field between the organizations fighting for positive change and the high budget interests they often fight against,” said Digital Envoy President Jerrod Stoller. “By utilizing aggregated data that protects user privacy, Data for Impact provides data information and resources to three core areas — protecting human rights, navigating nature, and shedding light around economic uncertainty.”

Federico Rossi, associate professor of management, and Ting Zhu, the Jack A. Hockema Chair in Management, are leading the research efforts for Purdue’s School of Business. The Krenicki Center for Business Analytics and Machine Learning formed the partnership with Digital Envoy and will work with researchers to process the data.

“Organized retail crime has been on the rise recently and is our first area of study. Stores and malls in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and other metropolitan areas have been the targets of robberies, break-ins and vandalism. These incidents reduce demand, as consumers avoid the affected areas, fearing for their safety,” said Zhu. “The unique dataset is vital in that it has geolocation data, which is very difficult to get. It allows us to know where people go, how long they stay, and the sequence of movements in their daily life. With that information, we have a much better understanding of consumer behavior and the traffic for different destinations, including retailers, schools, and hospitals.”

Using geolocation data in the city of Chicago and daily price data of gas stations, Rossi and Zhu are studying the impact of retail crime on sales/traffic and the price response of station managers to restore demand. They are also measuring how consumers in different neighborhoods respond differently to crime incidents and how many dollars they would take to accept risks related to their safety. The study can be further extended to other venues, such as retail chains and malls, to show how the negative impact of crime goes beyond the targeted stores and affects nearby stores located in the same area.

“We started with retail crime because there is a broad platform of questions we wanted to investigate and previously existing data that can be used to build on top of Digital Envoy’s geolocation data,” said Rossi. “Looking forward, we’re planning to study consumers’ movements to infer how they use different types of transportation, such as personal vehicles or public transportation. We're trying to look at a pattern for their transportation choices that will allow us to draw some inferences about how we can improve public transportation to reduce the inequality of accessibility for important destinations.”

Matthew Lawrence, managing director of the Krenicki Center, says the sheer size of the dataset and Purdue’s ongoing relationship with Digital Envoy could foster other research efforts. “At the Krenicki Center and School of Business, we’re focused on using data to identify and solve real-world problems,” he says. “This partnership is vital to that mission, and we look forward to the numerous opportunities it will present.”

About Digital Envoy

In 1999, Digital Envoy introduced the concept of privacy-sensitive IP-based geolocation and IP intelligence. This technology allows businesses from ad networks to publishers, websites, retailers and more to harness the power of location and new intelligence about connected users for many mission-critical applications. Digital Envoy has three business units that address the unique needs of customers: Digital Element, which provides global geolocation data and services that bring anytime, anywhere relevance and context to online and mobile initiatives; Digital Resolve, which delivers solutions that proactively secure online accounts, information, transactions and interactions from login to logout and Outlogic, which allows companies in retail, real estate and financial markets to develop disruptive tools built on a foundation of quality location data. Landmark Media Enterprises is the majority owner of Digital Envoy. Visit for more information.