You know how detectives on crime shows often track down serial killers using geographic profiling, figuring out where they are likely to strike again and also where they are likely to live?
Australian startup Ruppells Griffon uses similar geospacial technology for less dramatic purposes, like helping businesses understand their customers better or identify new sales opportunities.
Less than a year old, Ruppells Griffon is a specialist GIS (geographic information systems) provider. In law enforcement, the tech is widely used to track where crimes happen, triangulate where criminals live and to inform decisions on where to deploy resources or predict where criminal activity is more likely to happen.
GIS is a niche technology that’s widely used by government departments for things like maintenance and planning work, tracking of properties, public works, and roads.
But this startup wants to bring the intelligence to industry so sales-driven businesses can use it to identify areas where there’s greatest demand for their products; real estate agents can use it to find trends in the rental property market.
Similar to how Google Maps plots businesses on a map and tells you how to get from A to B, GIS plots business data on a map and finds patterns, trends and insights, usually by overlaying additional data layers on top, such as ABS Census data.
Hailing from Brazil, company co-founder Ana Ouriques launched the startup after working at makeup company Avon when she first moved to Australia back in 2006.
She quickly realised not many people knew about GIS and started using the technique at Avon to help sell cosmetics.
“I came from an IT and environments background. I started realising how much the tech could be used in other industries,” she said.
“We were mapping the customers, the products and how much they were buying products in each area.”
Ouriques also moved the cosmetics company from a printed mapping system to an online one. It was at this time she realised she could go out on her own.
“Before I started [Ruppells Griffon], I realised there was a demand in Australia,” she said.
“Most of our clients, they already have data but they’re not using it in an efficient way to save money or make better decisions.”
The company is currently working with a number of Australian real estate agencies to pool data to determine which agents are outperforming and which areas are the most active.