June 2, 2023 Release Notes

In prior product release notes, we’ve mentioned the importance of continuous improvement in how we approach product development at Zartico. Often, this pertains to small changes which add up over time.

Today, we are unveiling improvements to ZDOS™ which are quite large and consequential. In fact, this product release represents a giant step forward in innovation and data science with the release of hotspot geolocation filtering technology to all ZDOS™ users. This application of sophisticated and rigorous data science will remove imprecise location observations without losing the underlying signal.

What is hot spot filtering?

All geolocation data sets contain a mixture of highly precise and approximate location observations. Approximate observations tend to collect in centralized locations — or hotspots — that appear to receive an artificially high level of visitation.

Through the application of advanced data science techniques, our team of experts has developed processes to identify and filter out these approximate observations — while maintaining 95% of the precise geolocation signal.

By removing these hotspots, we ensure the accuracy and reliability of your geolocation data, eliminating inflated visitation counts and providing a more stable and trustworthy signal.
As a result of this improvement, the artificially high number of observations in small geographic areas such as dog parks, golf courses, or public parks will no longer appear as top POIs.

Additional product releases that further enhance the quality and stability of your destination data include 

Visitor Definition Alignment: We have modified our definition of a visitor to align with international standards set by the UNWTO and the US Travel Association. Visitors are now considered individuals who travel 50 miles or more from their home location and stay in the destination for longer than two hours. This change brings standardization to data sets and allows you to better understand visitor behavior, particularly from nearby areas such as adjacent counties, while adhering to the new standards. 

Benefit: Home City/Cities should no longer appear as the top origin market, and while visitor device counts will decrease, the data will be a more accurate reflection of visitation. 

Improved Device Handling: Our latest update includes enhancements to how new devices are associated with specific locations. With this technical improvement, the stability of the Visitor-to-Resident Ratio, as well as metrics like overnight and day trip visitors, remains consistent even as new devices are added. This resolves previous issues in accurately categorizing devices and ensures reliable data across our geolocation and website contribution signals.

Benefit: While metrics such as Visitor-to-Resident Ratio and Overnight-to-Day-Trip Visitor Ratio may see a moderate decrease this update will increase their stability.  

Website Contribution: We are improving the accuracy of website contribution through the IP bridging system. IP bridging links website visits to subsequent device visits. It allows us to connect visits from different devices, such as laptops and smartphones. Initially, the IP bridge captured too many devices, affecting the accuracy of website contributions. 

We have narrowed the number of devices allowed on each IP address, reducing incorrect signals from public Wi-Fi areas. This change ensures a more consistent and reliable website contribution signal and better aligns with data from Google Analytics. The number of devices contributing may appear to decrease, but this is due to eliminating public IP addresses. However, the number of destination visitors should remain the same. 

Benefit: More accurate and reliable data for your website contribution insights.

We have also made a change to the lookback window, which is the time between when someone visits the website for the first time and when they visit the destination. Previously, the lookback window was set at 60 days — it has been extended to 90 days. This means that in order for a device to be considered a WebCon Visitor, it must have accessed the website within 90 days of the destination visit. Consequently, the average time from viewing the website to visiting a destination cannot exceed 90 days for Zartico to capture the website visitation. 

Benefit: The analysis will include a broader range of users who have visited the website within a slightly longer timeframe before their destination visit.

Going forward, if you drill down by campaign source, your null campaign, medium, and source values will be filtered out of the insights. Note: If the campaign tags are not set up properly, we cannot decipher how to properly attribute the campaign due to null values. To learn more about UTM code best practices check out this article

Benefit: Null values will no longer be reflected in your top-performing campaigns.

All the metrics within the Website Contribution module will align with our new definition of a visitor (individuals who travel 50 miles or more from their home location and stay in the destination for longer than two hours). And we are applying the same Common Evening Location methodology for defining a visitor vs. resident (resident device seen in-market for 30 days or more) to WebCon. 

Finally, the aforementioned data science we’re applying to Hot Spot filtering will also have a positive effect on the location data found within the Website Contribution module. 

Be assured, we will never stop investing in advancements that support the work you do for the good of your communities. In fact, more exciting product announcements will be made in the coming weeks that will continue to innovate and improve ZDOS™.


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