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Matt Sheehan
Matt Sheehan
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.

Approach GIS like you would a doctor’s appointment

 
April 1st, 2016 by Matt Sheehan

doctor GIS 

Nobody likes going to visit the doctor. It usually means there is a problem. A problem for which you are looking for a solution. Here is an all too common conversation between patient and doctor:

Doctor: How can I help you today?

Patient: I have a terrible pain in my knee.

Doctor: What did you do?

Patient: I was tackled while playing soccer and fell awkwardly. How much will it cost to fix my knee do you think?

Doctor: We will need to run some tests.

Patient: Ok, the tests will be free I presume. I really just want to know approximately how much fixing my knee will cost.

Doctor: Tests take time, and give us an accurate picture of your problem so we can provide a solution. And no our time (and expertise) is not free.

Okay, that is not a real conversation. Nobody would ask a doctor such cost based questions. In fact as soon as we walk in the door of a doctors office the $ clock starts ticking.

Approach GIS like you would a doctor’s appointment

Let me share with you another conversation:

Potential Customer: We have a problem, we need to integrate our CRM with ArcGIS.

GIS Expert: Why is this a problem?

Potential Customer: Our core data is in our CRM. We need to be able to visualize and analyse our data using ArcGIS.

GIS Expert: What benefit will you gain from this integration?

Potential Customer: This will help us get a competitive edge, and ultimately make more money. How much will it cost to integrate our CRM with ArcGIS?

GIS Expert: We will need to run some tests.

Potential Customer: Ok, the tests will be free I presume. I really just want to know approximately how much this will cost.

GIS Expert: Tests take time, and give us an accurate picture of your problem so we can provide a solution. And no our time (and expertise) is not free.

You guessed it, this was a real conversation, and the potential customer, remained just that.

The word value often comes to mind when I think about these types of conversations. Visiting a doctor for a problem. We value the doctors advice and are prepared to spend money up front to allow the doctor to make the correct diagnosis to be able to arrive at the right solution. Why then (and I am generalizing) is a GIS problem not treated the same?

Before a doctor ever gets to surgery, in our example above, he first needs to clearly define the problem. Next he evolves the story (“If I do this how does that feel”). Tests often follow; maybe scans, an MRI. With a complete picture the doctor can then map out the surgery. Post surgery, there are follows ups until the solution (recovery) is complete.

Is GIS any different… problem definition .. story evolution .. tests .. technology application .. ongoing help and support?

At WebMapSolutions we’ve gone as far as to define this process. Our From WHERE to THERE in 5 Steps takes customers from problem to solution in a systematic, holistic manner.

So. Next time you reach out for GIS help. Pause. And approach GIS like you would a doctor’s appointment.

Contact us on 801-733-0723.

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Categories: ArcGIS Online, cloud GIS, location data, Mobile ArcGIS, Mobile GIS, Web and mobile GIS

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