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 PB Software DIgital Insights

Archive for October, 2009

Equipping Google & Bing for heavy-duty lifting

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

Cross-posted at http://li.pbbiblogs.com/

 

At this year’s insights ’09 user conference, we shared the stage with Microsoft and demonstrated how organizations can “power up” their Bing Maps to make better decisions using spatial analysis.

 

Developers were particularly interested in learning how our leading software development kit turned the maps generated through Bing and Google into powerful business tools. In a sense, making it easy for developers to transform cartographic images into true location intelligence.

 

While there are advantages to comprehensive desktop applications, Web 2.0 does provide an environment where you can interact and modify and your map tile images instantly. So it’s not surprising that the use of low-cost, web-generated imagery offered through Bing Maps (formerly Virtual Earth) and Google is common.

 

What’s missing from Bing and Google? Two things. Your data and a powerful analytics engine. That’s where SDKs comes into play. No matter how much you can accomplish in a browser, you need to do more if you want to make decisions that will advance your business.

 

Consider a retailer choosing a site for their next location. After you plot in your existing sites, you may want to overlay competitors, customers, market demographics, use SQL JOIN clauses, create buffers, run point-in-polygon analyses and more—that’s where middleware and enterprise mapping comes in to play. 

 

The right developer tools allow you to integrate your own data and conduct complex spatial analysts. A tile-based Rich Internet Application architecture ensures that map retrieval is fast, client side interactivity high, and server-side processing reduced.  Designed for enterprise use, the tile-based approach provides for the navigation of sophisticated quantitative data in a consistent and intuitive manner—without sacrificing cartographic quality.

 

Tile servers are becoming increasing popular for web mapping because they allow the application to pre-render parts of the map and store them as images. The ability to combine web, proxy and private caches based on site and user needs provides developers with many options and possible configurations.  In other words, with the right tools your favorite mapping applications can now do the heavy lifting needed to solve today’s complex business challenges.  If interested, you can learn more and download a free eval of the latest PBBI solution at http://www.pbinsight.com/welcome/mapxtreme7/

Holiday Trends Highlight Increased Role for Location Intelligence

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

Al Beery and Brian Hill, Pitney Bowes Business Insight

Over the next few months, consumers will head to the malls, superstores, and in increasing numbers, to their laptops—and retailers will be looking for any edge they can find to increase sales and margins during this holiday shopping season.

Given the sluggish economy, cost pressures and changing consumer behaviors, there has never been a better time to leverage Location Intelligence in your business. Retailers, manufacturers and shippers will find ways this year to move product to more people in smart, cost-effective ways by analyzing the relationship between distribution centers, retail sites, critical customer segments and household locations.

This is especially critical in light of expected shifts in customer behavior. The down economy means that many customers are buying less, they’re more price-conscious, and they are more selective about what they buy. Many customers are also buying more online—increasing the role of logistics and fleet management,

Using location intelligence to chart how these trends are impacting your business is often the key to greater profitability. Better Location Intelligence can help you to:

• Better project performance of existing retail sites
• Determine optimal locations for new retail sites
• More effectively allocate marketing dollars
• Chart more efficient delivery routes
• Reassess distribution-center locations in light of the increased proportion of direct-to-consumer shipping

In fact, companies that invest in top-quality location intelligence solutions often see positive ROI inside of six months. And many achieve a six-figure return on their investment within the year. Add in the intangibles—happier customers, happier delivery people, and happier customer-service personnel—these all result from greater efficiencies, better communications, and better information sharing throughout your organization.

More information on how Location Intelligence and other data-quality improvements can enhance day-to-day and long-term business performance are available in our White Paper Special Delivery: Just-in-Time Savings or by speaking with your local PBBI representative at 800.327.8627 or via email at pbbi.sales@pb.com.

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