Knowledge of the location of customers, property, products or any other asset is invaluable intelligence for improving competitive advantage and operational efficiency. However, despite the proliferation of data that businesses generate today, the potential value of this location dimension is often overlooked in the business intelligence process. With enterprises having access to ever greater volumes of historic data, to get maximum value from it they need to make use of the location element in order to drive deeper business insights to improve competitiveness and business performance.
- Location is a critical component in almost every business transaction Although more than 80% of enterprise data has a location dimension, whether it is customers, stores, warehouses or other assets, this information is rarely exploited in traditional business intelligence analysis
- Location intelligence is critical to fully exploiting the business intelligence (BI) process New and more valuable insights can be gained by adding the location dimension to data. Adding location capabilities to existing BI platforms can help leverage existing investments. Many business intelligence vendors are now providing location intelligence capabilities through partnerships.
- Optimising the use of external data sources is the foundation for successful location intelligence For deeper insights into the environments external to the business, location intelligence enhances data by combining internal business information with external sources such as those regarding roads, rivers, rail networks, power lines, competitors or populations (from census information). This enables businesses to more accurately target marketing, develop personalised services, plan store locations and determine risk exposure.
- Location intelligence is no longer exclusively the domain of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) users The growing consumer experience of mapping information is driving business awareness of location exploitation for commercial purposes. As a result, today's location intelligence solutions offer more flexibility and ease of use than traditional GIS. This enables more users to access location intelligence within the framework of their daily applications.
- Location intelligence is more than desktop mapping Whilst free or inexpensive mapping tools such as Google Maps and Google Earth, Microsoft Live Local or MapQuest are becoming more widespread, enterprise location intelligence offers far greater business value. When geographic visualisation is combined with predictive analytics, organisations gain an insight into the impact that location has on future business performance.
Businesses continue to be challenged with gaining intelligence from the huge volumes of data they capture and manage. Those that have added location intelligence tools to their BI platform are reaping the benefits through optimisation of their operations by analysing and targeting products or services more effectively. The opportunity for location intelligence centres on capitalising on the location-specific information that is already available within this data, and now is the time for organisations that are yet to make the move to seriously consider the opportunity that location intelligence presents.
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