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"Mobile App Piggybacking" What To Know About SDK Derived Mobile Location Data

As a marketer, data scientist, or developer working with Big Data generated from mobile apps, understanding the technical side is important. SDK is one of the basic components, and understanding what it is and what it does will help you facilitate your activities and make your use of mobile location data derived from SDKs that much more powerful.

Software Development Kit, SDK is a set of tools that enable the programming of mobile applications with unique features that improve the user experience. Marketing and advertising SDKs allow marketers to collect different data types, such as location and behavioral data.


While SDK-derived mobile location data has multiple benefits, you should be aware that it also comes with a few considerations. In this article, we discuss the pros and cons of SDK mobile location data and what to look out for when you're integrating this source of data into your data stack.

The Pros and Cons of Location Derived Data

Data collected through SDKs has the potential to be very accurate and insightful. User data collected from their mobile devices as they undergo their daily activities can enable you to uncover deeper insights about their behavior and preferences.

granular level data sets and frequency of updates is a huge update for SDK mobile location data that other methods of collecting mobile data can't offer.


The biggest challenge with this method is in achieving scale. It requires explicit user permission to collect location information. This involves using an opt-in interface asking for permission from the user when they interact with the application.


How do I get location data?

Some SDKs only operate when the app is active, whereas others can run in the background. Knowing how the data is collected will help you gauge the depth and accuracy of the collected data. This will, in turn, help you determine the usability and suitability of the collected data.

Collecting location data is an exercise that requires a lot of time, resources, and expertise. Thankfully, some data providers will sell you location data. It is wise to do a bit of research before choosing where to buy location data.

The data quality will vary from one data vendor to another. Data providers who specialize in providing location data will have good quality data as compared to more general data providers.

The latter tend to lack the resources and expertise to provide high-quality data.

Verifying the authenticity of data is near impossible though you can assess the credibility of the data vendor. This will help you avoid purchasing fraudulent or poor-quality data. Purchasing high-quality data is important as it will determine the reliability and accuracy of the findings and insights. Inaccurate data can lead to false findings that can lead to wasting of money, time, and effort.

SDKs are a Source of Location Data

While SDKs themselves are not trackers, they are a great source of data. They are the tools that offer the platform for tracking and collecting location data. Developers use SDKs to encode location tracking capabilities directly into a mobile app that will collect GPS and location data.

These are the main characteristics of the collected data:

  • Users must give their explicit permission to share their data

  • SDKs must inform users about privacy policies

  • SDKs must encrypt and protect sensitive data

SDK-derived location data has a higher quality and accuracy and is available in a smaller volume than other data sources. It is also typically more expensive since it requires direct integration of the SDK into mobile apps. This requires extensive resources, time, and money spent paying app developers so that you can piggyback on their apps.

SDK location data impacts businesses in many ways, and implementing it in your enterprise is a smart investment. When deciding on where to buy location data, you should consider various factors such as your budget, accuracy, and reliability. Consider using SDK-derived data from Onemata that complies with government privacy laws.