With many players in the location data space, it can be a challenge for marketers to know how to choose the right partner.

While it often feels overwhelming, the evaluation process is crucial. Once you select a data source, you associate your brand not only with the quality of the product you are using but also with the integrity of the partner you choose. As not all data is created equal, it is paramount to thoroughly assess vendors and data sets for both quality and accountability.

Here are five key questions to ask a potential location data partner to ensure you are choosing the best location data to fit your needs are, according to Lawrence Chan, EVP, Data Ecosystem at location data firm Cuebiq.

1. How was the data collected?

Methodology matters, as good data leads to actionable insights but poor-quality data leads to misleading insights. You will find that the data collection methodology, which impacts the overall quality and consistency of the data, varies by vendor.

2. What sources were used?

You may find that certain data sets were created by combining multiple data sources, often to achieve scale. In this case, you’d want to understand what “multiple sources” really means.

3. Is the data accurate?

It’s all about location (pun intended). You’ll want to ensure that if the data point is marked as a “ping” at Starbucks, the location was actually a Starbucks and not an AMC theater a block away. Accuracy often goes hand in hand with scale, because you’ll likely want high-quality data with great reach. You might find it helpful to set clear benchmarks for your evaluation, based on both your specific needs and industry best practices.

4. Can you measure dwell time and if so, how?

It is paramount to be able to verify if the users visited a store or were just walking by. A ping is not a visit and dwell time, a term introduced by Cuebiq to designate time spent at locations, is the qualifier to tell real visits apart from fake ones.

5. What is the vendor’s privacy framework?

It is paramount to be aware of and screen for partners’ data collection practices, to ensure that they themselves are in a safe position. And in today’s landscape, users are asking — rightfully so — for practices that may go beyond existing regulations and grant them the transparency, control, and access to data that they deserve, along with data provider accountability.