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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.

Can GIS Help the Mad Hatter?

May 20th, 2016 by Matt Sheehan

As the Mad Hatter says:

“I’m late. I’m late. For a very important data. No time to say hello, goodbye. I’m late. I’m late. I’m late.”

Ours is a Mad Hatters world. Fast paced. And getting faster. Decisions increasingly need to be made yesterday. In this blog post we will consider making business decisions fast and where GIS fits.

Can GIS Help the Mad Hatter?

I’m going to rephrase our question: Is GIS a 3 click solution? Is it a software solution which might help those who are moving quickly like the Mad Hatter….

My answer to this question is definitely YES. And definitely NO.

“Curiouser and curiouser!”

Why Yes – GIS IS a 3 click solution

Today GIS has become an in demand technology. Let me re-phrase that: more WHERE questions are being asked by more people. Traditional users of GIS have been swelled by the addition of non-GIS users. Business users in particular are looking for answers to questions traditional BI platforms cannot answer. People are realising GIS is far more than mapping technology. It can analyse and answers complex WHERE questions: Where should we open a new store? Where is our highest flood risk exposure? Where will be the greatest impacted areas of an oil spill?

GIS applications used by non-GIS users have to be SIMPLE and INTUITIVE. We spend much of our GIS application development time focused on workflows. We favour widget based GIS applications: those which can be configured, customised and extended easily. Maintenance workers, business analysts, field staff want GIS applications which help them get their jobs done, not applications which get in the way. Well designed GIS applications should obey the 3 click rule. Improving productivity is key to ROI.

Why No – GIS is NOT a 3 click solution

Setting up a GIS to answer WHERE questions or improve the productivity of staff is not simple. GIS demands understanding. If your organization is new to GIS YOU NEED HELP. Seriously. Sure today the technology has become simpler to set up and configure, but getting the most out of GIS needs expertise. Can you learn GIS? Absolutely. But you will likely need hand holding and guidance to arrive at early answers to business WHERE questions.

We recently spoke to an advertising agency who had no background in GIS, but had invested in a solution. They had some very specific needs. Thinking initially they could quickly apply GIS to solve an immediate problem, they were stuck. “We just have no idea where to start” was what they told us. They were frustrated and were questioning their GIS investment. We jumped in and gently guided them forward.

The reality: putting the pieces in place to answer WHERE questions with GIS is not a 3 click process.

There you have it. With a little help from his friends GIS can certainly help the Mad Hatter.

Need GIS help? 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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