What is GIS?
GIS, a geographic information system, is a set of computer tools for collecting, storing, and analyzing geographic data. The system uses GPS records, satellite view, and attribute data (tabular spatial objects as information sources). Schools are an example of the latter. Their actual location is spatial data, and their name and educational level are attribute data. The use of these two types of information makes this system effective for different areas. The received data is displayed in a map and graphical format. GIS maps show various metrics. For example, they can say which objects are located in seismically hazardous regions; provide information on the number and density, even the ratio of individual occupations to the number of urban area residents. That’s why we can use them for various purposes: land use planning, emergency response, and resource management.
GIS Application in Business
The commercial industry uses GIS apps heavily, although they seem invisible. In particular, with their help, manufacturers of goods track the activity on social networks by region and determine brands’ preferences in different parts of a country. Thus, they can conduct a better marketing campaign. GIS is also popular in the insurance industry: with its help, experts analyze hot spots and determine trends based on big data.
Supply chain optimization
Another critical area of GIS is assistance in organizing supplies. The system can provide real-time information about the asset’s movement using data from the Internet of Things, mobile devices, and radio frequency identification (RFID) tags. Moreover, we can use GIS information to plan the supply chain organization. For example, we can cite the supply of goods between the company’s head office and its branch. There are several stages here. It is necessary to determine the quantity of the transported goods, draw up the optimal route, monitor the safety of a cargo, and control its receipt. Note that this technology is suitable for optimizing transport costs and delivery times and increasing driver safety.
Customer relationship management
Any business should establish strong relationships with consumers. Customer relationship management is an action plan that allows you to learn more about people’s wants, needs, and behavior. Implementing it requires an appropriate solution, and GIS is excellent for this task. It will help you assess the frequency of purchases of a particular product and determine the need for stock. Thus, the clever use of GIS will improve the quality of customer service and increase income.
Initially, businesses used GIS primarily to analyze customer demographic information. It made it possible to locate stores more efficiently. Today the system helps to solve a much more comprehensive range of tasks. Most shoppers choose products based on price and availability, which means they prefer a particular brand. Using GIS data, managers can determine buying interests in different regions, particularly brand preferences, and thus plan a marketing campaign and distribute the optimal load between trade channels. Moreover, company leaders can track the effectiveness of changes and adjust actions in real-time in the future.
People have been using GIS for monitoring for a long time. For example, utility companies use it to manage water resources and distribute electricity in real-time efficiently. In this case, the technology is combined with SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition system). Thus, specialists accurately determine the need for water, which optimizes production, reduces operating costs, and meets consumer needs in full.
New product development
Another advantage of GIS is its assistance in expanding a business. By identifying the regions where potential customers predominantly live, companies can plan to open additional branches and cost-effective geographic production distribution. Likewise, GIS can assist in the development of a new product. In particular, you can choose a place for its initial promotion to gain a foothold in the market more effectively. Besides, the system allows you to adjust the development of goods in real-time. For example, marketers at ice cream companies can plan weather-based promotions to target stores in regions with the warmest temperatures.
Final Thoughts on GIS
Thus, many business solutions involve spatial data analysis, and therefore GIS is an essential technology for its implementation. Resource planning, customer relationship management, and supply chain management are just a few possibilities this technology provides. Moreover, GIS makes it easier to work with a massive amount of data by structuring and visualizing them in graphs and maps. It allows you to efficiently manage geographically scattered production and establish spatial relationships between customers and assets. This is why the number of industries that use GIS is growing steadily. At the same time, the technology is suitable for both large companies with a turnover of millions and small businesses. For the latter, GIS can become a reliable ally in the process of business expansion.