Foursquare CEO on mapping the world, trend by trend

Foursquare CEO on big data

More than 90 million places worldwide are mapped on the Foursquare app's servers. What started as a location-based social network has evolved into a location intelligence company, providing data to more than 100,000 tech companies like Twitter and Apple.

Foursquare CEO Jeff Glueck was hired in 2014 to be the company's chief operating officer and took over the top job early last year. Glueck joined "CBS This Morning" Thursday to discuss the company's move into big data and how it grew its revenue last year by 74 percent.

First of all, what does location intelligence mean?

"It means we start with our consumer apps. Fifty million people around the world use Foursquare's apps and website to discover great places," Glueck said. Users also log wherever they go so they can remember places they enjoyed. From there, Foursquare uses that data to "map the world."

"We create maps of the world that let advertisers, 50 of the biggest advertisers of the top 100, use our services to find the kind of people with the lifestyles who would be interested in their products. We also power 100,000 tech companies," Glueck explained.   

In addition, the company offers analytics for retailers and hedge funds who use their aggregated, anonymous data to know who is doing well in the business world, Glueck says.

Recently, the company made a prediction about the restaurant chain Chipotle.

"We went on TV two weeks before their earnings and said, 'We predict that Chipotle sales will be down about 30 percent year over year," Glueck said.

Two weeks later, Chipotle said they were down 29.7 percent.

Another topic Foursquare looked into recently using their data is marijuana. Specifically, how the legalization of marijuana in certain states is affecting liquor sales.

"We did see a drop in growth for liquor stores but interestingly enough, bars and nightclubs held completely steady," Glueck said of their findings in Oregon, a state where recreational marijuana has been legal for more than a year.

Tourism to the U.S. is also down according to Foursquare's data.

"From October to March, the U.S. share of leisure activity globally is down about 11 percent," according to the CEO. While, this could be due to a number of factors, but Glueck said, "A lot of folks are saying that the steep decline may be related to policies that make the U.S. seem less attractive as a tourism destination and we particularly saw that from the Middle East and Latin America fewer vacationers coming to the states."