Archive for the ‘Business GIS’ Category

Business Intelligence / Location Intelligence

February 1, 2007

Going forward in this discussion we are bound to talk about location intelligence and business intelligence.

Intelligence means in this terms collecting, classifiying and analysing the available information to get some conclusions.

Location intelligence is a term that is often used by MapInfo (offering a software with the same name). While the terms of the posting “Geomarketing / Business GIS” deal either more with the internal matters of the company or deal 100% with the customer, it seems to me that the location intelligence is a mix of these two terms. It deals with informations about a customer but not just for advertising purpose. More than this it takes the results to decide where to place a new shop or office. If they collect the right information, some IT-systems will give them an outlook into future or just give them a prediction. Therefor they have to georeference all the information.

Business intelligence will go a step further, which IMHO gathers all aspects mentioned until now. Internal information and information about the customer will be analysed similarily. The results will be used to improve internal aims and to optimize the customer relationship (advertising, aquire new customers).

On the following slide I have tried to sort the different aspects of a GIS looking at their aims and their main attention.

Aspects of GIS

 

Please click on the thumb to enlarge.

The original GIS aims at graphical portfolio management. The ongoing development of the systems leads away from the classical cartography. If cartography is nice to have — but needed — and use of the map is very customer related I would call this activity Geomarketing (GM). Therefor it is is placed at the right top of the slide. If internal aspects are as important as aspects about customer relation and if economical information is collected as well as geographival information I would speak about a Business GIS (BG). Somewhere inbetween I would place Location Intelligence (LI). In this case maps are used to show information but internals and cartography stand more in the back. The term that gathers all the tools for internal activities and customer related information is IMHO Business Intelligence (BI). Because BI uses internal and customer related information in same values but uses a bit less maps, I would place it somewhat more at the economic side of the slide.

If you can find your aim, which you try to reach with this software, in this slide, you can easily find the category of software you will need. But this is just the main target of the software. Before your final decision you should think about what you can reach with your software additionally. By this I mean functions for the controlling (business administration). Once you have gathered all the information about your customers you can even plan and exactly optimize delivery tours or something like that. All of these additional aspects (i.e. controlling) I will discuss later.

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Business GIS / Geomarketing

August 2, 2006

The term geomarketing is not really used in english language. They use the term business GIS. Both terms nearly mean the same but are nevertheless different. Geomarketing means customer-oriented marketing of any products. Business GIS includes even aspects that are relevant for production. The origin of both terms is also another: geomarketing is originally used by geographical oriented economists, business GIS is used in economic geography. The both meanings are slightly but obviously different. F. Schüssler defines the term geomarketing like this:

“‘geomarketing’ means the planning, coordination and controlling of custumer-oriented marketactivities with a GIS; so methods are used, which create, analyse and present the spatial relation of the examined information” (SCHÜSSLER 1997, translated into english by M. Blazejak, 2006)

Maybe it all began with maps at the wall, colored pins and some fibres. In this way they defined areas on the map which show e. g. the catchment area of companies and shops. By means of this method they could find raw areas very good and could turn their special attention to them. But the abilities of this method are pretty limited. External information could only be badly presented in the maps and has to be analysed, collected in listings.

With the still continuing fast development of computer hardware since the end of the 1970’ies and also enhanced software the gap could be filled faster and more efficient today. In the late 1970’ies the first research supported by the available technology in terms of geomarketing has been done in great britain.

To be adequate for geomarketing, a GIS has to have only rudimental cartographic functionality. More important are the functions to intersect spatial referenced information, trace functions and tools for interpolation. The following fields can be mentioned related to the implementation of geomarketing:

  • retail industry
    • specific advertising with an optimised catchment area
  • distribution
    • improvement and controlling of the field service
    • optimised franchising
  • media business (e. g. newspapers)
    • improvement of the local news and ads
    • specific controlling of the inserts

The advance of computer aided geomarketing with some kind of GIS is clear to see. Only by collecting and spatial referencing information you can efficiently create complex maps with combined information in a short time (visualisation). The available information growth constantly in quality and quantity. Costs of computer hardware doesn’t play an important role anymore, because a desktop-GIS can be run on a nearly every standard computer. Real costs are produced by software licenses and external information. Because of the short times for calculating analysis and intersections you can go and find the best solution out of a lot of possible attemps (trial-and-error).

So, if you have most of your information spatially referenced and don’t use a GIS-like-tool to analyse them, you give away more potential benefit than you know by now. You should check all your lists, to find all information related to your objects and analyse them. You will be one step ahead of your competing company. Don’t waste them! 😉