Analytics/ Geo Analytics

Most analysis, be it in business, government or the public sector, is done primarily in the black-and-white, two-dimensional arena of spreadsheets and documents. Graphs and charts can provide simple ways to understand the numbers by seeing the difference -- most people call this visualization. The latest evolution of charts and graphs are business intelligence dashboards, which have become a popular way for the leaders of large enterprises to correlate and compare many different sets of data and information.

Geo-analytics is the use of geography (the map is just the visual) as an aide to any analytical process.

Geo-analytics provides two significant additions to the analysis:

  1. Location can be used as an anchor to compare data sets that have different formats or structure. This becomes very useful for any organization that is trying to integrate information from different clients, vendors and other external parties like research firms or government agencies.

  2. The visualization of multiple sources of information provides understanding that is not possible in two-dimensional, black-and-white data. Some things you might see in a map that you won't see in a series of spreadsheets could include:

    1. Clusters and Density: see customers' relative location

    2. Gaps: you can't see "what's not there" in spreadsheets

    3. Correlations: compare multiple sources to see if weather, demographics or other factors affect your business

Let's take an example:

Sales of your juice product is up in 20 stores, flat in 40, and down in 15. Why? The real answer is that a competitor has moved into a few of your markets.

But you don't know that yet - and this is NOT obvious from your analysis as you can't see the real-world pattern in your spreadsheet - and there are many other feasible answers:

  1. bad management

  2. Bad sales performance

  3. Demographic anomalies

  4. Shipping or transportation problems

  5. in-store product placement

  6. unions

  7. Competitive product

  8. The price of gas is skyrocketing

  9. Floods in the area are reason for raising the price of corn futures

...and many more. How can you quickly, inexpensively and accurately find the right answer?

Let's begin the geo-analysis. Start by simply 'geo-locating' your data - map your data by store. Though not impressive by analytical processes, the results can be business-altering. In this case, you instantly see that only two urban areas are the root of all your problems.

The whole point is that the question you ask to 'fix' a problem are based on your analysis - if 95% of all business decisions are based on spread-sheet you can see from the map-graphic below that much time would be wasted in the absence of Location Intelligence. LI is now and will certainly become more a fundamental part of business intelligence.

Significant market research resources are spent to identify the characteristics of the target market. This is usually done in the absence of geo-analytics. In many cases, accurate analysis is performed, but at what cost?

The application of geo analytics in water resources is under taken and a few models are given below.

« All Products