The one thing that is relevant to just about everything business does is location. Your office, your customers, your suppliers and even where you go for dinner or travel to a store is all relevant to location. So how much does your business use location to make business decisions? Is there a reason why not? As business makes decisions and examines performance and activities over time, commonly referred to as time-series analysis, there should be a similar focus on location and geography. I pointed this out in our business technology priority #13 for 2009--New Technology for Infusing Business Intelligence.
For many organizations they just have not thought about this geographic and location aspect of their data for business across processes and decision-making. This means that common tasks such as optimizing customer to business interactions at retail locations to understanding methods to market your goods and services to the right consumers is probably not being efficiently supported. But even more is the business effectiveness of the design and management of your sales organizations across geography and location of prospects to the streamlining of moving goods and services from supplier to manufacturer or from manufacturer to distributors and to retail locations are not being optimized. Even where you route inbound calls to a contact center where it should be decided based partially on location and not just next availability. This has been seen recently with the backlash of sending calls to India or other offshore locations where the language and cultural interaction is just enough different to impact customer experience.
To be able to support these efforts requires having the right geographic data standards and tagging to the actual data assets that is used in location intelligence and geographic information systems to the integration into business intelligence and enterprise applications. But just as important is doing geographic analytics that can help improve specific business activities around site selection or tax management along with the right interactive visualization of your data correlated to location. Our recent Ventana Research benchmark research in Location Intelligence found only 28% of organizations truly innovative in their business with this location context and others at varying lower levels of maturity. Even most disconcerting is that many organizations think just using Google Maps is sufficient but I found in our research waning levels of confidence on using consumer mapping for business needs.
A good place to start is customer-centric processes and this was most important in recent research with 36% of organizations indicating it as the top priority. Examining benefits of using location can help with improving customer services as found in 61% of organizations and responding to customer requests in 49% of organizations. If you want to improve your location intelligence competency, just come and learn from our specific benchmark research and improve your efforts. This might save you time and money but also demonstrate the intellect of your organizations with one of your most valuable assets--your customers. Let me know your thoughts or come and collaborate with us on LinkedIn and Facebook.
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