Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Location Intelligence and "Speed to Insight"

Earlier, I wrote about location intelligence and the "Eureka moment" when the two hemispheres of the brain work together to provide a flash of insight. To make the vision of enterprise location intelligence a practical reality, it will require that two types of information practitioners come together as well.

Why should BI practitioners embrace geospatial platforms? Why should GIS practitioners embrace business intelligence platforms? How does location intelligence benefit both GIS and BI practitioners while contributing to the enterprise?

Enterprise GIS

Some GIS purists may believe that this integration with BI dilutes the true value of GIS, because BI users will only take advantage of a small sub-set of GIS's capabilities. While this may be true in the short run, GIS enthusiasts need to think about the big picture.

By taking GIS to the mainstream of enterprise solutions, location intelligence makes GIS far more pervasive throughout the enterprise. Because more of the enterprise will be exposed to GIS, more people will find more uses (with higher levels of complexity) for GIS, and the demand for the skills of GIS practitioners will grow accordingly.

To make this happen, GIS enthusiasts need to leverage BI's enterprise-ready architecture and infrastructure, and its presence within all enterprise decision-making processes.

Geospatial BI

A recent Aberdeen Group study cited three factors driving the need for more efficient, more agile business intelligence solutions:
  • Growing volume of source data / number of sources
  • Time window for decisions increasingly compressed
  • Increasing or changing demand for management information
As workers who have toiled in the field of business intelligence for many years, we at APOS have substantial anecdotal evidence to support the Aberdeen Group's statistical conclusions. These are indeed the challenges facing BI practitioners today.

From our experience, we have also come to the conclusion that location intelligence is a large part of the answer to these challenges. Location intelligence will help information consumers make better sense of diverse data sources, and be able to reach informed decisions more quickly and with greater confidence.

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