Analyst Coverage: Philip Howard
All business needs information to make decisions and never more so than in our ever-changing world. Providing the right information at the right time is never going to be a simple task. Enhancing data by adding information about location will add real value to your business intelligence and provide the answer to ‘Where is the Business?”
Location is the attribute that represents the geographic position of your information. This can be represented by map co-ordinates, latitude/longitude or even the UK postal code. Read more about this highly under-utilised attribute in the Bloor spotlight paper, Where is the Business? – Business Intelligence empowered by location
Location can add value to the business intelligence of all sectors and businesses and improve your business’ effectiveness. For example, the British Transport Police have reduced disruption to train services by creating an accurate addressing system using location. They can now exactly locate an incident and conclude their activity much quicker – within an average of 90 minutes. This has improved the scheduling of resources and minimised disruption to rail transport.
The same principles can also be applied to:
- Logistics – to monitor the location of containers and manage the fleet along the most economical routes.
- Local Government – to calculate the most economical bus routes to meet the needs of the local community.
- Healthcare – British healthcare authorities in the Avon region incorporated location information in its data to allow the planning, distribution and management of Swine ‘Flu antiviral drugs. Its ability to manage future outbreaks is now significantly improved. The distribution of the antiviral drugs is more efficient using informed planning and saves costs to Healthcare by reducing epidemic incidents.
- Insurers – they need to manage their risk or they would go out of business. Location information reveals the areas of greatest potential risk. For example, trend analysis can identify areas of high claims and crimes; Predictive analysis reveals areas of potential risks to existing and potential business; Area-based risk profiles can be assigned rapidly to existing and new customers, thereby the estimation of relevant premium and a risk balancing overview. This analysis minimises accumulated risk and speeds up business processes.
- Retail – similarly, in the retail market when comparing the most profitable outlets to the demographics of that area, patterns can guide decisions on where to stock specific products, where to invest in advertising and where to locate new outlets.
Location adds value to the business intelligence of all sectors and businesses. Include location in your information by understanding what opportunities are possible for your business, how to organise and implement your requirements, and then benefit from this “Where” Factor.
- Get executive buy-in. Decision-makers want to understand the benefits and see the return on investment (ROI) before considering any expenditure.
- Promote an understanding. The decision-maker must be convinced to invest but must understand to be convinced. Catch 22!
- Is there enough aWhereness? This is a broad understanding of how location works in order to identify opportunities in your business.
- Identify where location can add value. The business knows their business best and they are most able to identify these opportunities. This can only be achieved with that aWhereness.
- Opportunities will define your location intelligence requirement. This will provide you with a great starting point for empowering your business intelligence and reap the benefits of location enabled information.