What is your favourite cliche about 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic? Is it that at the end of the day, no matter how much we earn or where we live, we are all the same? Or perhaps it is that ‘nothing will ever be the same again’, or maybe you are sick of hearing about how many new hobbies your friends have decided to take up.
So while the last 12 months have been full of mantras and cliches, there is one that does at least hold true. This is that if you wanted your business to survive in 2020, you had to improvise and adapt quickly. You had to optimize everything about your daily processes and in 2021 you need to be prepared for more of the same.
You will need to optimize your delivery habits, approach business expansion intelligently, close unprofitable representative offices and work more efficiently. This has historically been achieved via the implementation and proper usage of geographic information systems (GIS), a framework for gathering, managing, and analyzing data. GIS can keep track of where customers are located, site specific businesses, target marketing campaigns, and optimize sales territories and model retail spending patterns, amongst other things.
In geographic mapping we trust
GIS works by creating maps that can be accessed by an app or software service. These maps include different kinds of data layers using spatial location, including imagery, coordinates and spreadsheets. This data is then analyzed by the service and then published via an app or other user entry point in an easy to understand manner for the user.
GIS has been a reliable tool for businesses for many years however, the concept is beginning to become dated. This is especially so for the tumultuous times we live in, where issues that would never have entered into your mind but a year ago are paramount. These include border closures, halts on international travel, new quarantine and custom laws, the list goes on and on.
These developments are in part driving the development of something called location intelligence (LI), which could be best described as the successor to GIS. It is a major improvement on GIS as it includes open data, real-time data streams, and big datasets, new methods of analyzing location data and is more accessible to developers, data analysts, and data scientists. No man, no company is an island anymore even despite the pandemic, and GIS was simply too reliant on generating your own internal data. LI on the other hand is much more suited to gathering data from a vast array of sources.
What good is LI to me?
The potential uses of LI are numerous, but some of the most immediately apparent and broadly applicable include the following:
- Open source data streams democratize access to information, meaning that more companies, regardless of their size, can benefit from access to higher quality data.
- GIS is too reliant on historical information, while LI’s improved analyses options can include constraint optimization, behaviour modeling, logistics planning and more.
- Historically GIS required university level training whereas LI can be used by almost anyone, and as more people use it it improves in quality.
Think about what all of this can do for your business. Thanks to the potential scope of LI related tools and data, your limit is just your imagination. You can identify new customer audiences, plan expansions for your stories based on geographic information, plan for potential logistics and transports problems, the list goes on and on. The best thing about LI is its true democratization of information, as you have so much high quality data to work with.
Adopting a new tool can be daunting but with 78% of C-level managers reporting they plan to adopt LI, you do not want to get left behind. That is why we recommend Aspectum when starting out with LI. It is easy to use and contains all the best aspects of both GIS and LI. It is the outstanding all in one mapping tool choice that will help you optimize all areas of your business in 2021.