What is geospatial analytics?


In the world of business intelligence (BI) and big data, the ultimate challenge is staying ahead of the competition. There is no doubt that more and more enterprises are taking advantage of this technology to gather better insights for clients, customers and relevant stakeholders.

However, data on its own isn’t always helpful. Therefore, business leaders need to apply various new measures of analysis in order to see patterns, trends and possible solutions. In recent times, the idea of geospatial analytics has come into prominence, allowing enterprises to add another layer to their BI capabilities.

Geospatial analytics highlights trends over time and location.Geospatial analytics highlights trends over time and location.

Geospatial analytics – a snapshot

Geospatial analytics is the concept of using time and location information within traditional data processes. This allows business leaders to analyse what is happening across times and locations simultaneously, allowing for smarter decisions and more accurate conclusions.

Essentially, by including time and location insight, trends emerge in a geographic or linear context, meaning forecasts can be made at a particular site and time in the future.

In the healthcare sector, for example, doctors and other medical professionals could track how deadly diseases and viruses are moving across a town, city, country or even the globe. As a result, local authorities and healthcare providers have access to real-time information, enabling them to determine how they can prepare for epidemics and global events before they begin.

While this type of information should be a given in today’s technological world, geospatial analytics is still a growing trend and will come into more prominence in the years to come. This was recently highlighted by statistics from MarketsandMarkets.

In its Geospatial Analytics Market by Type report, the industry is predicted to grow to US$72.21 Billion by 2020 at a compound annual growth rate of 21.4 per cent. Technology is certainly improving in this space, and industries such as healthcare, manufacturing, retail and real estate are all set to enjoy the benefits.

Why is geospatial analytics growing so quickly?

Tracking and identifying geospatial information is much easier today thanks to innovations such as smartphones, social media and GPS devices.

Geospatial analytics’ growth is supported by the rise of geographic information system (GIS) technology. According to MarketsandMarkets, tracking and identifying geospatial information is much easier today thanks to innovations such as smartphones, social media and GPS devices.

As well as being able to provide instant insight, this data is accurate, enabling businesses within different sectors to develop tailored responses based on spatial conditions or other location-based data. As GIS technology continues to expand and be adopted by consumers, the scope of geospatial analytics will only advance in the future.

What are the benefits of geospatial analytics?

While the advantages of this business intelligence will differ depending on the industry, there are several universal benefits to including time and location information to existing data pools. Described by Deloitte, these include:

  • Proactive, not reactive

Organisations in industries where time is of the essence need to be proactive when addressing situations, rather than reactive. As such, through geospatial analytics, decisions can be made based on what is happening in certain areas before the trend spreads.

  • Insightful solutions

Projects and activities in one location can often be used to determine the relative success of the same activity in another location. With the use of geospatial analytics, business leaders have access to information around why an event or action didn’t work in a certain geographic location, supporting future efforts in an industry.

Learning more about geospatial analytics

As a concept, geospatial analytics is of real value for many sectors around the world. Of course, it will be important for enterprises investing in BI to have the right knowledge and solutions on their side. If this sounds like something that your business is interested in, contact our team today.