Location Intelligence has always been the part of Business Intelligence. It can be described as the understanding and analysis of information with relationship to geographic location. Of late the growth of this location intelligence is assuming astronomical proportions. The reason for the same is manifold.
The following are some of them:
- Technology Innovations related to Geographical Representation like Maps.
- Satellite Communication Technology
- Mobile Computing with powerful applications
Geographical Information Systems – GIS (also called as Geographic Information System or Geospatial Information System) is the most popular terminology for location intelligence. GIS can be defined as
A geographic information system (GIS), or geographical information system, is any system that captures, stores, analyses, manages, and presents data that are linked to location.
Simply put, when data and its analysis is linked to geo location, we get GIS. When GIS is used for Business Intelligence we get Geo BI. Geo BI systems are computer based systems that provides means for data management, data manipulation and analysis. Let us see more about GIS in this article.
As we saw earlier, the growth of GEO BI and its recent developments are assuming astronomical proportions. There is increasing interest of GIS based solutions. Online tools like Google Earth, Yahoo Maps etc., are coming as free services. Business intelligence is the use of information that enables organisations to best decide, measure, manage and optimise performance to achieve efficiency and financial benefit. Most organisations have a need or could benefit from utilising location in decision making. The following are some of the use cases:
- Target marketing, merchandising
- Plan by geography
- Telecom build out, store trade area analysis
- Assign assets by geography
- Assigning services management, law enforcement, resources, engineering resources
- Track resources by geography
- Analyse customer’s sales by sales territories
- Manage services by geography
- Customer Services, financial services, management services
The convergence of location intelligence and business intelligence paves a powerful way to expand the organizational capabilities. When business intelligence process meets cartography, data analysis, data integration, OLAP, meta-data management, there are fascinating results arising. Out of this convergence we are getting new functionalities like:
- Spatial OLAP
- Inline Filters
- Geo Dashboards
- Geo Report Engine
- Geo DWH (Data Ware House)
Let us see one example of a data warehousing application. DWH is the way of retrieval of business information the way you want them. One of the ways you want them may be site wise or location wise. Where sales are happening? Where assets are being managed? Where low cost sources are available? Where our services are moving fast? And here comes the GIS and BI marriage!
Access of the dynamic data by BI systems is the future trend. Dynamic data as opposite to persistent data keeps changing. Information is made available as updates are happening. This dynamic data access is becoming a key component in business intelligence applications. Dynamic data base models are being developed. GIS is enabling the availability of dynamic data.
Some people may think GIS as mere Google Maps, but it is definitely more than that. Businesses are finding GIS as an important tool and adding it to their BI solutions. GIS integrated BI can help achieve more relevant results.