As an executive, how hard is it for you to get a complete view of what is really happening in all parts of your enterprise? Is the information you receive fragmented? Out of date? Do you have multiple versions of the “truth”? Can you spot trends? Would you like to wake up in the morning and use your iPad to review KPI’s? Can you can make timely decisions about your business with confidence?

In other words, are you getting the information you need, in the format you need, when and where you need it?

Organizations have worked for years to tear down information silos, but challenges remain. If this is the case for you, consider utilizing geography as an integrating platform to organize, analyze, visualize, and share your enterprise data assets.

Spatial, or location information is contained in much business data. For example, wouldn’t it be great to integrate and visualize:

  • Customer addresses and disaster event data
  • Supply chain requirements with weather and traffic data
  • Point of sale and demographic data
  • Indoor customer mobility patterns with product placement and customer demographic data
  • Regulatory compliance requirements with housing loans history
  • Store location and crime data
  • Location of related Tweets to marketing campaign actions
  • Asset information and maintenance compliance performance
  • The list goes on.

My point…… It makes good sense to utilize geography as an integration strategy because location is often the common denominator across disparate data assets and systems. Once these items are integrated and organized around location, the next logical step is to use spatial technology to analyze, visualize, and share the data.

Esri, a company who has been building Geographic Information Systems (GIS) since the late 60’s has developed an entire technology stack for utilizing geography as an enterprise platform. Wiring-up CRM’s, ERP’s, Data Warehouses, and other operational business systems to a geographic platform is not as hard as you might think. If you want, you can start with small investments in technology and services and quickly develop new and powerful ways of running your business.

The trends are clear. It will be common place for organizations to have specialized spatial analytics divisions. Interactive maps will be a standard part of the executive’s BI dashboard. Geographic platforms are increasingly being recognized as good options for dealing with Big Data, predictive analytics, risk analysis, and data from mobile devices, to name a few. Geography is also a great platform to use for providing value added services for your customers. Put simply, maps serve as a common language for effectively communicating complex ideas.

Geography as a technology platform is a game-changer that delivers a distinct competitive advantage.

Don’t get left behind.

Keith is the General Manager for GISi’s Private Sector Group. Please contact him at or 205-941-0442 x159 with questions or comments.