Location Analytics: The new frontier in Business Intelligence (BI)

October 25, 2013 Amanda Graff

A recent report has revealed that 1 in 3 organizations that leverage location intelligence in their daily workflows have noticed a significant improvement in their activities and business processes. Organizations that adopt this practice position themselves to outperform competitors because they’re able to achieve deeper insights. For example, they can leverage geodemographic data to better understand their customer’s motivations and behavior, they can make informed decisions about where to open or close locations based on accurate, location-based data. They’re also able to analyze where marketing efforts are failing or succeeding and adjust strategies and tactics accordingly.

A recent Ventana Research report on Business Trends in Location Analytics states that:

 “The context of location is a critical business asset that will provide a competitive advantage over the next decade. Adding geographic and location content to information enables organizations to understand more about their customers, whether they are other businesses or consumers. It provides critical business insights, enables better decisions and improves processes and performance.”

In fact, among many findings, the Report uncovered that 1 in 3 organizations that leverage location intelligence in their daily workflows have noticed a significant improvement in their activities and business processes. Organizations that adopt this practice position themselves to outperform competitors because they’re able to achieve deeper insights. For example, they can leverage geodemographic data to better understand their customer’s motivations and behavior, they can make informed decisions about where to open or close locations based on accurate, location-based data. They’re also able to analyze where marketing efforts are failing or succeeding and adjust strategies and tactics accordingly.

However, a challenge that many businesses have traditionally faced in integrating location into their business intelligence (BI) is the simple fact that within larger organizations, BI and GIS investments have often existed in silos with little communication between the two technologies. Integration of the two systems would typically require custom coding and integration of maps with APIs.

The good news is that recent technological advancements and a focus on enterprise applications has made it easier and more affordable for organizations to add a location-based component to their BI enterprise systems through plug-and-play solutions that connect directly to existing applications.  An explosion of big data has also played a role by making a wealth of real-time, location-aware information readily available.

To celebrate this trend, we’ve focused the fall issue of ArcNorth News around Location Analytics. In this issue you’ll read about organizations including CARA Operations, the Nova Scotia Department of Health & Wellness, Conservation Ontario and others that have achieved significant gains by integrating location intelligence into their daily operations.

Figure 1.1: At CARA Operations, Business Analyst Online (BAO) is used to map variables on a large market scale to learn more about the population that lives and works around existing and prospective restaurant locations.

Figure 1.2: The Nova Scotia Department of Health & Wellness leverages maps to identify gaps in services and programs across the province.

Figure 1.3: Conservation Ontario analyzes where their best customers travel in from and how far they are willing to drive. This information is then represented in colour coded spider diagrams.

Please let us know how you are leveraging location intelligence in your own organization, we’d love to hear from you!

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