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 Geospatial Analytics –
5 Ways It Can Give You A Competitive Advantage

Brendan de Villiers_Data _Engineer_Decision_Inc_

09 February, 2023

Brendan De Villiers,

Data Engineer at Decision Inc. SA

In recent years, we have seen a surge in the use of data analytics across all industries. This is in part due to the growing volume of data and insights required by businesses. As businesses become more data-driven, they are turning to analytics to help them make better decisions and gain a competitive edge. The opportunities that data is unlocking have become endless, and more and more businesses unlocking a competitive advantage by using geospatial analytics.

In fact, the geospatial analytics market is expected to see a steady growth of 12.9% annually, thus growing in value to $ 96.3 billion by 2025.

What is Geospatial Analytics?

Geospatial analytics is the process of analysing data that has a geo-spatial component to better understand relationships, patterns, and trends. In other words, it helps you understand what is happening in a particular place, sometimes in relation to other points of interest.

These data points can include GPS coordinates, zip codes, and addresses. The source of these data points can be generated from IoT devices or customer information in existing data sets. By analysing this data, businesses can gain insights into trends and patterns that help visualise a story. For example, a retail chain could use geospatial analytics to identify areas where there is high demand for its products. They could then use this information to open new stores or stock more inventory in existing stores in these areas.

business people work crop scaled

The benefits of geospatial analytics extend beyond simply understanding what is happening in a certain place. When used correctly, geospatial analytics can help businesses make better decisions, improve operational efficiency, and gain a competitive edge through understanding the relationships between features on the earth’s surface and POIs (Points of Interest) relating to them.

Geospatial analytics can be used in a wide variety of industries, including but not limited to retail, healthcare, manufacturing, logistics, and more. In fact, the possibilities are nearly limitless. With that said, let’s take a closer look at some of the ways geospatial analytics can be used to benefit businesses.

How can geospatial analytics benefit your business? 

1. Improve decision making 

Geospatial analytics can help businesses make better decisions by providing insights that would not be apparent without analysing location data. For example, enabling agricultural companies to work out the optimal routes (within their farmland or shipments to ports) of transport that result in cost savings, improved insurance pricing, and better communication between B2B’s (business to business) or B2C’s (business to customer). Understanding and gaining insights into aspects such as customer population density, competitor influence, stock distribution, and farmland management, helps drive better decision making.

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2. Improve Customer Segmentation

One of the most common uses for geospatial analytics is customer segmentation. By analysing customer location data, businesses can group customers together based on shared characteristics such as location, demographics, and behaviors. This helps businesses better understand their customers and tailor their marketing efforts accordingly. For example, a retailer could use geospatial analytics to segment its customers by location and then send targeted coupons to those in proximity to one of its stores.

3. Enhance Competitive Intelligence

Geospatial analytics can also be used to enhance competitive intelligence. By analysing competitor location data, businesses can identify areas where they have a competitive advantage or disadvantage. They can then adjust their strategies accordingly. For example, if a business finds that it has more locations than its competitors in a certain area, it might focus its marketing efforts on that area to increase its market share. Conversely, if it finds that it has fewer locations than its competitors in an area, it might open new locations there or enhance its online presence to compensate for the lack of physical locations.

4. Improve operational efficiency

Businesses can use geospatial analytics to optimise their operations by understanding where things are happening and why. For example, if a distribution center is trying to minimise shipping costs, geospatial analytics can be used to determine the most efficient shipping routes. Likewise, if a manufacturing company is trying to reduce downtime, geospatial analytics can be used to identify where machines are breaking down so that preventive maintenance can be performed. Or, lastly, if a company finds that its employees are wasting time travelling between appointments, it might consider opening new offices or remote working arrangements. The possibilities are endless.

cloud data

5. Reduce Costs

satisfied employees an overlooked factor for success

Finally, geospatial analytics can also be used to reduce costs. For example, if a business finds that certain areas are under-served by its current product offering, it might adjust its product mix accordingly. Or, if it finds that certain processes are taking longer than necessary due to poor planning, it might redesign those processes. The bottom line is that geospatial analytics can help businesses save money by identifying areas where they are wasting resources.

How to get started with Geospatial Analytics

people taking part business event

Geospatial data can be found through open sources, it can be tricky to find trustworthy sources and integrate the data into your current business data.

There are various software tools out there depending on your need. A few include Surfer, Strater, Geosoft Target, ArcGIS Software, and GM-SYS Modelling One.

To get started with geospatial analytics, businesses should partner with an experienced provider who can help them architect correctly and find the appropriate sources to enrich existing data sets and answer the most pertinent business questions.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you get started.

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