Successfully reported this slideshow.
Handbook
1EDITOR’S NOTE
2WHAT LOCATION INTELLIGENCE
CAN DO FOR YOU
3LOCATION ROLLOUTS NEED
CLEAR-EYED NAVIGATION
4MOBILE B...
Home
Editor’s Note
What Location
Intelligence
Can Do for You
Location Rollouts
Need Clear-Eyed
Navigation
Mobile BI Apps
M...
Home
Editor’s Note
What Location
Intelligence
Can Do for You
Location Rollouts
Need Clear-Eyed
Navigation
Mobile BI Apps
M...
Home
Editor’s Note
What Location
Intelligence
Can Do for You
Location Rollouts
Need Clear-Eyed
Navigation
Mobile BI Apps
M...
Home
Editor’s Note
What Location
Intelligence
Can Do for You
Location Rollouts
Need Clear-Eyed
Navigation
Mobile BI Apps
M...
Home
Editor’s Note
What Location
Intelligence
Can Do for You
Location Rollouts
Need Clear-Eyed
Navigation
Mobile BI Apps
M...
Home
Editor’s Note
What Location
Intelligence
Can Do for You
Location Rollouts
Need Clear-Eyed
Navigation
Mobile BI Apps
M...
Home
Editor’s Note
What Location
Intelligence
Can Do for You
Location Rollouts
Need Clear-Eyed
Navigation
Mobile BI Apps
M...
Home
Editor’s Note
What Location
Intelligence
Can Do for You
Location Rollouts
Need Clear-Eyed
Navigation
Mobile BI Apps
M...
Home
Editor’s Note
What Location
Intelligence
Can Do for You
Location Rollouts
Need Clear-Eyed
Navigation
Mobile BI Apps
M...
Home
Editor’s Note
What Location
Intelligence
Can Do for You
Location Rollouts
Need Clear-Eyed
Navigation
Mobile BI Apps
M...
Home
Editor’s Note
What Location
Intelligence
Can Do for You
Location Rollouts
Need Clear-Eyed
Navigation
Mobile BI Apps
M...
Home
Editor’s Note
What Location
Intelligence
Can Do for You
Location Rollouts
Need Clear-Eyed
Navigation
Mobile BI Apps
M...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Mapping an effective location intelligence strategy

1,310 views

Published on

Published in: Technology, Business
  • Be the first to comment

Mapping an effective location intelligence strategy

  1. 1. Handbook 1EDITOR’S NOTE 2WHAT LOCATION INTELLIGENCE CAN DO FOR YOU 3LOCATION ROLLOUTS NEED CLEAR-EYED NAVIGATION 4MOBILE BI APPS MAKE ROOM FOR LOCATION DATA VIRTUALIZATION CLOUD APPLICATIONDEVELOPMENT HEALTHIT NETWORKING STORAGEARCHITECTURE DATACENTERMANAGEMENT BI/APPLICATIONS DISASTERRECOVERY/COMPLIANCE SECURITY Mapping Out an Effective Location Intelligence Strategy Location intelligence technologies aren’t just for consumers looking for a good restaurant or vacation spot. Businesses can benefit, too: Analyzing location data can help them boost revenues and decrease costs.
  2. 2. Home Editor’s Note What Location Intelligence Can Do for You Location Rollouts Need Clear-Eyed Navigation Mobile BI Apps Make Room for Location Data 2   MAPPING OUT AN EFFECTIVE LOCATION INTELLIGENCE STRATEGY 1EDITOR’S NOTE Location Intelligence Takes BI to a New Place Real estate, famously, is all about loca- tion, location, location. Business intelligence and analytics haven’t reached that point yet, not by any stretch of the imagination. But loca- tion data is taking on a higher profile in BI and analytics circles, enabling the development of location intelligence applications that let busi- ness users map, track and analyze spatial data, demographic records, logistics data and other types of information. In a report published by The Data Warehousing Institute in September 2012, consultant David Loshin cited a variety of potential uses for location data, from assess- ing eligibility for government assistance after natural disasters to optimizing transportation routing for product distribution. And more advanced technologies are enter- ing the location intelligence picture. For ex- ample, mobile applications are fertile ground for location-based analysis. And in a June 2013 report, consulting company Forrester Research detailed what it termed “the next stage” for marketers looking to tap into location technol- ogy: location-enabled predictive marketing aimed at better assessing the future interests and needs of customers. But you can’t just arrive at your location in- telligence destination without putting in some effort to get there. This guide is designed to help you get started on that road. First we delve more deeply into location intelligence use cases and applications to provide a solid idea of what the technology can be used for. Next we catalog tips from experienced users on implementing and managing location intelligence systems. We close with a close look at the benefits and challenges of deploying mobile location intel- ligence apps. n Craig Stedman Executive Editor, SearchBusinessAnalytics.com
  3. 3. Home Editor’s Note What Location Intelligence Can Do for You Location Rollouts Need Clear-Eyed Navigation Mobile BI Apps Make Room for Location Data 3  MAPPING OUT AN EFFECTIVE LOCATION INTELLIGENCE STRATEGY 2BEST PRACTICES What Location Intelligence Can Do for You The term location intelligence is a growing part of today’s business intelligence and ana- lytics lexicon, but what kinds of BI applica- tions does location technology make possible? Thanks to Google and other online information sources, nearly everyone is familiar with a mul- titude of consumer uses for location data—for example, getting directions and finding restau- rants, hotels, hospitals, government buildings and just about anything else you might need to find in a particular geographic area. But can a business use location intelligence software to boost its bottom line? Absolutely. There’s a wide variety of location-based BI ap- plications in play in nearly every industry. Here is a sample of some of the most commonly found ones: ■■ Customer analysis. Understanding the cus- tomer is critical for any organization, and location intelligence can play a big role by enriching customer data with demographic or lifestyle data based on where people live or by adding spatial data metrics—drive times to stores, for example—for use in sales fore- casting models. Location data can also aid in customer profiling, segmentation and pros- pecting efforts, and in trade area and com- petitive analysis applications.  ■■ Retail site selection and expansion plan- ning. Location intelligence tools can help retailers find the best location for a new store or suitable sites for an entire chain of stores. Potential store sites can be quickly evaluated and prioritized without the need for visits, based on local demographic and economic data and geographic factors such as trans- portation access, the location of competitors and site sustainability. Companies looking to add stores to fill geographic gaps can also use location-based analysis to measure the
  4. 4. Home Editor’s Note What Location Intelligence Can Do for You Location Rollouts Need Clear-Eyed Navigation Mobile BI Apps Make Room for Location Data 4   MAPPING OUT AN EFFECTIVE LOCATION INTELLIGENCE STRATEGY potential for “cannibalism” of customers who already shop at existing outlets.  ■■ Advertising and marketing promotions. Efforts to reach potential customers with targeted communications at the right place and time have long benefited from insight provided by location intelligence applica- tions. And the possible uses are expanding in today’s mobile-oriented world. Customers are no longer associated with only a mailing address or ZIP code and a home telephone number but also with their location-enabled smartphones and tablets. Effective marketing messages must be tailored based on where customers are at a particular time. Location intelligence applications can trigger ads and promotional offers based on proximity to a store or other spatial information.  ■■ Sales territory design and optimization. Location intelligence can greatly improve sales force productivity by helping companies design balanced sales territories to optimize coverage and customer service levels. Data on customer density, travel times between different sites, the locations of customers with high buying potential and other factors can be brought together and analyzed to en- sure that territories are set up to reach cus- tomers both effectively and efficiently.  ■■ Supply chain management. In the global economy, far-flung suppliers could be at risk of events such as natural disasters, politi- cal upheavals and even terrorist attacks that might disrupt their production and deliver- ies. Companies dependent on those deliveries can use location intelligence systems to help design supply chain networks and then to identify risks, develop mitigation plans and recover from disruptions when they do oc- cur. Location-based applications can also help improve distribution planning and execution by supporting processes such as optimized multi-modal transportation routing and geo- fencing, which creates virtual boundaries and provides alerts when vehicles or goods cross them.  ■■ Field service planning and tracking. Large   organizations such as utilities, telecom 2BEST PRACTICES
  5. 5. Home Editor’s Note What Location Intelligence Can Do for You Location Rollouts Need Clear-Eyed Navigation Mobile BI Apps Make Room for Location Data 5  MAPPING OUT AN EFFECTIVE LOCATION INTELLIGENCE STRATEGY carriers and oil and gas companies have ex- tensive holdings and employ thousands of technicians to install and repair equipment in the field. Location intelligence tools have long provided the means to map assets and customer locations and help plan mainte- nance and service activities. Now tablets and smartphones add the ability to track vehicles and workers in real time. The geofencing ca- pabilities in location intelligence software deployed on mobile devices can alert dis- patchers when technicians approach, arrive at or leave a work site; how long they stay there; and whether they deviate from a specified route. That can result in lower operating costs and increased customer satisfaction. It’s said that 80% of the data in an organiza- tion has a location component. And with more and more workers carrying location-aware mo- bile devices, the number and variety of location intelligence use cases is exploding. In addition, vendors of databases, business applications and BI tools have begun to build support for storing, analyzing and visualizing spatial data into their products. As business users become familiar with those capabilities, even more uses for location data surely will follow. If you aren’t already, you should think about adding location intelligence to your business landscape. Your competition likely is. —Steve Benner 2BEST PRACTICES
  6. 6. Home Editor’s Note What Location Intelligence Can Do for You Location Rollouts Need Clear-Eyed Navigation Mobile BI Apps Make Room for Location Data 6  MAPPING OUT AN EFFECTIVE LOCATION INTELLIGENCE STRATEGY Location Rollouts Need Clear-Eyed Navigation The Truckee Donner Public Utility Dis- trict in California faces stiff regulatory re- quirements that force it to inspect facilities, overhead electrical wires and telephone poles on an ongoing basis. But coordinating work crews to get someone out to far-flung areas, and then documenting inspections and report- ing on the results, proved to be a challenge. Two years ago, utility executives found that they were falling behind on inspections. They responded by turning to a suite of busi- ness intelligence (BI) and location intelligence software tools that enabled them to combine administrative data with information on the locations of crews in order to more efficiently assign inspections. Using the software, administrators can see   a visual map with information on what sites   have been inspected, what kind of work was done at each location, who did the work and what results were found. From there, they can generate reports on the inspection work. Ad- ditionally, the administrators can track how   inspections affect the quality of electrical service by looking for correlations between inspection findings and incidents of power outages. Ian Fitzgerald, IT operations manager for the utility, said the BI and location intelligence system has helped eliminate about 90% of the inspection-related paperwork that previously had to be done by hand. But getting the pieces in place presented some challenges, he said, adding that there are things other organizations can do to help location intelligence implemen- tations go smoothly. KEEPING IT SIMPLE Truckee Donner deployed a combination of BI tools and dashboards from Logi Analyt- ics and Esri geographic information system 3STRATEGIES
  7. 7. Home Editor’s Note What Location Intelligence Can Do for You Location Rollouts Need Clear-Eyed Navigation Mobile BI Apps Make Room for Location Data 7  MAPPING OUT AN EFFECTIVE LOCATION INTELLIGENCE STRATEGY 3STRATEGIES (GIS) software. Fitzgerald said there are lots of ways that users can integrate the two kinds of systems, including writing their own GIS and XML code to customize the products. But the utility has a limited number of tech- nical staffers, so a heavy amount of custom coding wasn’t an option. Instead, Fitzgerald used sample code that he obtained through a Logi user forum to streamline the Logi-Esri in- tegration process. Users can also look for inte- gration support from their vendors. Also, the system’s user interfaces were de- signed with business users in mind, which means they needed to be simple and easy to navigate. The goal was to enable workers in all departments to use the software to col- lect, manage and analyze data and put together reports. “Our philosophy is to put as much technol- ogy in the hands of nontechnical people as possible and let them collect the data without having to spend too much time [handling that] on the IT side,” Fitzgerald said. A CHANGING LANDSCAPE Seattle-based Venuelabs uses analytics and location intelligence software to track com- ments, likes, check-ins and other online ac- tions by social media users in order to monitor brand sentiment for its clients, mostly big-box retailers or restaurant chains. The information is correlated with location data to see how spe- cific retail or restaurant locations are perform- ing. Venuelabs CEO Neil Crist said most of the software used by the company is homegrown, and the primary users are a group of data sci- entists—so a lack of technical resources and a need to simplify the applications weren’t major concerns when the system was being set up. But keeping abreast of the changing dynam- ics of social networking and ensuring that the “Our philosophy is to put as much technol­ogy in the hands of nontechnical people as possible.” —ian fitzgerald, IT operations manager at Truckee Donner Public Utility Dis­trict
  8. 8. Home Editor’s Note What Location Intelligence Can Do for You Location Rollouts Need Clear-Eyed Navigation Mobile BI Apps Make Room for Location Data 8  MAPPING OUT AN EFFECTIVE LOCATION INTELLIGENCE STRATEGY 3STRATEGIES system continues to provide the required data are critical to the company’s success. Venuelabs has to constantly tune in to new social media channels to see what users are saying about corporate brands. For example, the photo-sharing site Instagram generates a lot of relevant data about the company’s clients, but just 24 months ago that site had virtually no users. The evolving social media landscape means the data science team at Venuelabs reg- ularly has to adjust its algorithms for analyz- ing location-tagged information collected from sites, partly because of the differences in how users interact with them. For example, a “like” on Facebook could have a different meaning than a photo of a restaurant meal uploaded to Instagram without any comment, and the sys- tem has to take such variations into account. Other businesses looking to implement location intelligence software might not be adding new content streams with the same kind of frequency as Venuelabs, but the type of information they’re interested in tracking can change. For example, Fitzgerald said the Truckee Donner utility district might become satisfied that it’s doing enough site inspec- tions in the future and want to place more of an emphasis on understanding how the results of inspections vary by location. A flexible mind- set is called for in such cases to help ensure that the location technology continues to meet changing business needs. PINPOINTING ITS USES Howard Dresner, chief research officer at Dresner Advisory Services in Nashua, N.H., knows there’s a great deal of knowledge stored in location data. But businesses starting out on projects need to determine whether location intelligence software is applicable throughout their operations or only in certain departments. According to Dresner, retail and sales opera- tions are likely to be able to gain significant A flexible mind-set is called for to help ensure that location technology continues to meet changing business needs.
  9. 9. Home Editor’s Note What Location Intelligence Can Do for You Location Rollouts Need Clear-Eyed Navigation Mobile BI Apps Make Room for Location Data 9  MAPPING OUT AN EFFECTIVE LOCATION INTELLIGENCE STRATEGY 3STRATEGIES knowledge from location intelligence applica- tions. For example, meteorological data can influence a retail store manager’s staffing de- cisions. Finance departments, on the other hand, typically would benefit less from the technology. With a growing number of organizations looking to reap the benefits of big data analyt- ics applications, there’s a tendency nowadays to over-accumulate data. That can increase the “noise-to-signal ratio” business users have to contend with, Dresner warned.“We can collect untold volumes of data these days, but then you need to analyze it. There’s signal within the noise, but it can be hard to find.” Instead of collecting every piece of data that has a location element attached to it, busi- nesses may be better off starting with more targeted projects that capture specific infor- mation, Dresner said. As location intelligence software continues to mature, it may become feasible to crunch more data. But in the mean- time, he advised, a pragmatic approach is to fo- cus on analyzing data that can provide answers to a limited set of location-related questions. —Ed Burns
  10. 10. Home Editor’s Note What Location Intelligence Can Do for You Location Rollouts Need Clear-Eyed Navigation Mobile BI Apps Make Room for Location Data 1 0  MAPPING OUT AN EFFECTIVE LOCATION INTELLIGENCE STRATEGY Mobile BI Apps Make Room for Location Data Companies increasingly are looking to take analytics out of the office. And in many cases, they’re combining mobile business in- telligence software with tools that can analyze location data to add a geographic component to BI applications. For example, Chris Hickman, a principal consultant at Decision First Technologies Inc., said he recently helped a natural gas company implement a location intelligence system that agents inspecting possible gas production sites can use to help decide whether to make rights- purchase offers to the property owners while they’re in the field. When a landowner calls the company offer- ing to sell the rights to gas deposits found on a property, dispatchers can see in the system which agents are in the area. The nearest rep- resentative can then be sent to the property and can check from a mobile device to see if it’s close enough to existing pipelines and refineries to be worth making a deal for the drilling rights. That research previously had to be done by employees back at the office, wast- ing valuable time in evaluating properties and opening negotiations with landowners, said Hickman, who declined to identify the gas company. “Because they can talk with the ranch owners and immediately look at the maps on the mo- bile devices, they’re able to respond a lot more quickly than the competition,” he said, adding Companies are looking to take ana- lytics out of the office, often com- bining mobile business in­telligence software with tools that can analyze location data to add a geographic component to BI applications. 4TECHNOLOGY
  11. 11. Home Editor’s Note What Location Intelligence Can Do for You Location Rollouts Need Clear-Eyed Navigation Mobile BI Apps Make Room for Location Data 1 1  MAPPING OUT AN EFFECTIVE LOCATION INTELLIGENCE STRATEGY 4TECHNOLOGY that the rapid-response capabilities increase the odds that the property owner will agree to a sale. But the confluence of mobile BI and loca- tion-based analysis presents some challenges for IT and BI teams that should be taken into account before embarking on a mobile location intelligence initiative. STICK TO THE PLAN Hugh Strawn, vice president of catastrophe services at the Property Loss Research Bureau (PLRB), an insurance industry resource group in Downers Grove, Ill., said an organization might start a project with a clear set of objectives in mind but then make changes to the plan mid- stream—a move that could send the deploy- ment astray. With the help of geographic information sys- tem software vendor Esri, the PLRB recently released a mobile version of an application it offers to member organizations that enables claims adjusters to analyze weather data and predict down to specific street addresses where severe weather incidents are likely to have occurred. Strawn said the information helps adjusters decide whether claims should be paid or investigated further. Location intelligence systems can do many things, Strawn said. But, he added, companies should always stick to the capabilities that are most important to meeting business needs— particularly on mobile applications that have   to run on devices with small keyboards and   reduced screen real estate. “Sit down and clearly define what it is you want the product to look like when you’re done,” he said.“What is it supposed to do? The clarity and direction is crucial.” User interface design is a crucial element of any BI or location intelligence application, but that’s especially true for mobile apps because of the screen size limitations. Simply pushing desktop versions of applications onto mobile devices is big mistake, warned Howard Dresner, an analyst at Dresner Advisory Services.“You can’t take an existing desktop dashboard that you use in the office and dump it on some- one’s device,” he said.“You’ve got to design for the device, design for the role, design for the activity.”
  12. 12. Home Editor’s Note What Location Intelligence Can Do for You Location Rollouts Need Clear-Eyed Navigation Mobile BI Apps Make Room for Location Data 1 2  MAPPING OUT AN EFFECTIVE LOCATION INTELLIGENCE STRATEGY 4TECHNOLOGY WATCH OUT FOR DESIGN TRAPS In mobile location intelligence implementa- tions, it’s an easy trap for programmers to load up maps with numerous data points in an ef- fort to deliver as much information as possible to the user. But that typically leads to informa- tion overload and an application so cluttered it can be impossible to use, Dresner said. Another factor that can complicate the design of mobile location intelligence appli- cations is the use of Adobe Flash plug-ins. Hickman pointed out that many mobile de- vices, in particular the iPad and iPhone, don’t support Flash; in fact, Adobe has stopped de- veloping new versions of Flash Player for mo- bile platforms. But many multimedia elements, including interactive maps showing location data, typically are designed using the Adobe technology. Application developers may be able to get around that issue by using other methods. For example, various BI vendors now allow devel- opers to build mobile applications in HTML5, a markup language that can be used to create interactive elements. Still, Hickman said some HTML5 features currently aren’t supported by mobile operating systems. Programmers need to understand what the devices being used in their organizations will and won’t support be- fore designing location-based applications for mobile users, he said. Hickman also cited connections to corporate servers. The typical way for mobile users to remotely connect to secure servers is through a virtual private network. But he said some of the business users he has worked with thought VPN connections were overly complicated to establish and didn’t want to bother with them. Instead of a VPN client, Hickman recom- mends using a reverse proxy connection that allows users to access a secure URL through an SSL certificate, a process that he said should feel familiar to most people regardless of their comfort level with technology.“It’s easier to push the technical implementations back into the IT department rather than having, say, your CFO having to implement a VPN,” Hickman said. —Ed Burns
  13. 13. Home Editor’s Note What Location Intelligence Can Do for You Location Rollouts Need Clear-Eyed Navigation Mobile BI Apps Make Room for Location Data 1 3  MAPPING OUT AN EFFECTIVE LOCATION INTELLIGENCE STRATEGY STEVE BENNER is founder of The Location Intelligence Institute, which provides information resources on the use of geospatial technology to improve business pro- cesses and decision making. Benner also manages BI alliances at Esri, a vendor of geographic information system software. Email him at inquiries@tlii.org. ED BURNS is the site editor of SearchBusinessAnalyt- ics.com; in that position, he covers business intelligence, analytics and data visualization technologies and top- ics. He previously was a news writer for TechTarget’s SearchHealthIT.com website, and he has also written for a variety of daily and weekly newspapers in eastern Massachusetts. Email him at eburns@techtarget.com. ABOUT THE AUTHORS Mapping Out an Effective Location Intelligence Strategy  is a SearchBusinessAnalytics.com e-publication. Scot Petersen | Editorial Director Jason Sparapani | Managing Editor, E-Publications Joe Hebert | Associate Managing Editor Craig Stedman | Executive Editor Melanie Luna | Managing Editor Linda Koury | Director of Online Design Doug Olender | Publisher dolender@techtarget.com Annie Matthews | Director of Sales amatthews@techtarget.com TechTarget 275 Grove Street, Newton, MA 02466  www.techtarget.com © 2013 TechTarget Inc. No part of this publication may be transmitted or re- produced in any form or by any means without written permission from the publisher. TechTarget reprints are available through The YGS Group. About TechTarget: TechTarget publishes media for information technology professionals. More than 100 focused websites enable quick access to a deep store of news, advice and analysis about the technologies, products and pro- cesses crucial to your job. Our live and virtual events give you direct access to independent expert commentary and advice. At IT Knowledge Exchange, our social community,you can get advice and share solutions with peers and experts.

×