Location analytics is helping to guide the next phase of GIS. This post highlights three benefits of location analytics for organizations, the post pays special attention as to how traditional business intelligence tools and Esri’s ArcGIS platform is transforming how government delivers services. You can view the GovLoop Industry Perspectice: ArcGIS as a Platform online, or download a PDF.
An emerging trend in the geospatial community is the use of location analytics and integration with business intelligence (BI), enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) software. The power to visualize spatial data continues to transform the decision making process for the public sector. Recently, Esri released a report, Location Analytics for Business Intelligence.
The report is a fascinating look at how the integration of traditional business intelligence tools and location analytics have the power to transform decision making within an agency, bringing to light new insights and visualizing data. The report does a great job of discussing the advantages of integrating traditional business intelligence and GIS technology. Yet, business intelligence tools are not only important aspects for gaining a competitive advantage in the private sector; BI also serves as a valuable role for public sector organizations. BI data allows the public sector to improve decision making, and act strategically to improve services. Business intelligence tools are used in many sectors, including housing, defense, public safety, healthcare, and education.
In a recent GovLoop report, ArcGIS as a Platform, I had the opportunity to speak with Jack Dangermond, Esri President. Our discussion included a conversation around location analytics as an emerging trend in the geospatial community. For organizations, BI and GIS integration is a promising development. By mapping BI information, agencies can unlock new insights that would traditionally not be known or understood. The ArcGIS platform easily integrates with BI information. Dangermond states, “Our partners are really excited because in a non-disruptive way, all of a sudden fantastic maps can be made from BI information.”
Organizations typically use BI to make charts, graphs, and tables, but have yet to leverage the power of spatial data. With ArcGIS, paired with an organization’s BI, ERP, and CRM data, organizations can identify new insights and find new relationships to improve business workflows, operations, and improve how services are delivered to customers. ArcGIS and location analytics seeks to support and connect business intelligence platforms to GIS, to develop geographic analysis of the rich and complex analytical BI data organizations collect.
BI and GIS have both matured as technologies, and now, by merging both of these technologies, agencies can drive even more robust insights and make stronger decisions, showing new trends, and develop maps to highlight traditionally underutilized data.
3 Benefits of Location Analytics for the Public Sector
Organizations will leverage business intelligence and GIS in a variety of different ways. Yet, there are some common themes that all agencies can benefit from. Below I’ve listed three benefits of analytics.
1 – Highlights Relationships Otherwise Never Known
By leveraging both BI and GIS, agencies developed an enhanced ability to analyze and understand performance of a variety of objectives through maps. With the ability to instantly develop maps, agencies can spot and identify new trends visually.
2 – Spatially Shows Patterns, Trends, and Utilizes Data to Improve Decision Making
One of the challenges with data continues to be identifying high value analytics, and using data to drive improved insights. The Esri report does a great job explaining this trend, stating, “High-value analytics—With the ability to visualize and interact with data in new ways, users can recognize patterns and connections that may not be revealed with only charts and graphs. For example, two locations may be operating at less than 50 percent capacity. If these locations were exposed only through a list, it may not be apparent that they are in close geographic proximity and potentially cannibalizing each other.” For CIO’s, the use of BI and GIS can be a quick win, delivering a business advantage, and leveraging two highly complementary technologies. Additionally, it’s clear that with both technologies, agencies can take a more holistic view of their data and customers, and easily visually spot trends to improve service delivery.
3 – Non-Disruptive Technology Adoption
With location analytics, adoption of the technology is largely non-disruptive. Agencies are able to use ArcGIS to run on top of existing technology, not impeding workflows or disrupting processes within organizations. GIS is certainly in a transition phase, and through the ArcGIS platform, the public sector can leverage complementary technologies like BI, enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) software.
If you are interested in learning more about ArcGIS as a platform and how Esri has truly created a geographic platform through ArcGIS, be sure to view GovLoop’s recent interview with Jack Dangermond, Arc GIS as a Platform.