Mobile GIS & LBS
Matt holds an MSc in Geography and GIS. He has been working with clients solving problems with GIS for over 17 years. Matt founded WebMapSolutions whose mission is to put innovative, intuitive GIS driven applications into the hands of new and existing users.
Solving Business Problems with GIS: Location Strategy
February 8th, 2016 by Matt Sheehan
This is our fourth and last blog post in our series discussing how organizations can answer their WHERE questions:
WHERE should we focus our policing efforts?
WHERE are our assets – pipes, valves, culverts, insured households, stores, dealers, parks?
WHERE are our listed properties for sale?
WHERE does it make the most sense, given demographics, for us to focus our marketing efforts?
In our first post we discussed data and building/maintaining an accurate, complete and easily accessible System of Record. Our second post discussed GIS servers and platforms. The third post considered the GIS System of Engagement. Here we will underline the importance of a location strategy.
Solving Business Problems with GIS
In the previous posts in this series we have been discussing your GIS strategy: data, GIS server/platform and system of engagement. As Helen Thompson, Esri’s Commercial Marketing Director, says:
“A GIS strategy many times refers to the implementation of systems and technology … GIS has supported geo- or spatially- centric workflows and activities by allowing organizations to maximize operational efficiencies, enhance activities, and improve decision making relying on GIS-based products, data and applications”
A location strategy “makes location the common identifier between different data types, workflows and processes”. Using maps, geocentric data and analysis in all organizational operational and strategic activities.
Let’s look at an example: home insurance. Often insurance companies track their customers and assess the risk of new customer’s using spreadsheets and complex formulas. With a location strategy, these spreadsheets are replaced with maps, risk calculations integrated into location analysis. Imagine a new customer applying for insurance, using GIS it is easy to evaluate risk: is the home in an earthquake zone, close to a river, in a flood plain, located in an area prone to hurricanes?
GIS brings organizational data together, using location as the glue. Allowing important business questions to be answered. Pushing your organizational data into a GIS or integrating existing systems (business intelligence, CRM etc) with a GIS will provide new insights, help you run your business more efficiently, and potentially give you a key competitive advantage.
There you have it: moving through from a GIS to location strategy. In 4 blog posts we have discussed how you can move from nothing to something. In many ways GIS has been an underutilized technology. More than simply a map, GIS provides answers to any of your WHERE questions; and organizations have many.
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