What challenges are you, the GIS team and/or your organization facing as a result of the expanding use of/interest in spatial analytics?
What’s a bigger problem: end user knowledge, difficult to use tools, or not enough bandwidth in the GIS team?
How can we deal with them?
Our largest hurdle seems to be working with people who would rather make decisions based off of their 'gut' opinion of an area, instead of relying upon a data & analytical approach. So to sum it up, our biggest challenge is validating our results to skeptics both internally & externally.
Another hurdle would be the need to flip flop work between MapInfo & AnySite. It would be totally perfect to have a tool tab in MapInfo that activates an AnySite'esque add on within MI Pro!
@Corey Graft? , you're not alone with the "gut" vs "analytics" issue. The key is to engage the "gut" people in the process. One thing I've done in the past is to get around a table and look at reports (eg retail sales forecasts). Some make sense, some are too high, others too low. Ask the experienced "gut instinct" people to try to explain what the analysis might have missed. Soon that person will feel part of the process and get intrigued by the numbers.
The new version of MapInfo Pro launched last week has a built in drive time module for trade areas. No demographics yet, but our partners may build something in the near future, so keep watching Li360 for what's new!
you raise an interesting point, the challenge is about providing information in a way that end users can understand. MI Pro with a AnySite'esque (GIS Manager) or a business mapping tool like SSA (Business User). Sometimes as spatial focused people we can miss that fact.
Some tools are "difficult to use" like RouteFinder because they require running the computation against a saved table and not just a selection, and require saving the results to another table rather than sending output to the cosmetic layer. Then these same tools, not being integrated, cannot be scripted within MapBasic, thus lots of manual work creating tables to run points, naming tables for output, keeping up with all the tables, and having to do it all manually.
Then, there are the problems of when the programs do not output expected results! All these things make life more cumbersome when more and more work is being expected of a few experts.
I also think that the ease of understanding the data is the reason why they go with their gut. We can provide spatial data in formats that are easier to use with pre-built GeoEnrichment data
@Corey Graft? and to @Andrew S DAndilly? GIS users and others don't necessarily consume information in the same way. Some prefer a web mapping interface while others need an api to work within their app.
@Steve Wallace?, v17.0 comes with a new MapBasic function that allows you to use functions in running tools. That could be a way to automate things with RouteFinder but it would require that you know the declaration of the functions in RouteFinder.
To answer the main question, it’s important that organization's value and understand the need for a corporate data strategy. Spatial data is critical to that Strategy, Everything happens somewhere right? Having a central holistic view of spatial data and a business tool that makes it available to the non GIS user (the business user) really set the foundations for spatial data in the corporate data strategy.
@Joe Francica? I agree. Often times, a more focused web application can help bring GIS answers to non-GIS people.
Excellent suggestions. Do you feel that less is more with the gut feeling types? Perhaps a few thematic maps up front in lieu of jumping directly to hard numbers? I've typically had them work the numbers with me & they generally come along for the ride once they see the light, but we do have some internal decision makers that I need to really bring on board 100%. Thanks for your help.
Another problem faced by industries is the inability of some GIS vendors to truly understand the users' needs. So many GIS companies tout their ability to compute distance to coast -- an utterly useless number. You need to know whether a risk is in a storm surge area or not. Same thing for various companies that will tell you the nearest 3 fire stations to a risk... with no regard to whether or not the station is within the fire district or has a contract to respond into the district or not.
These basic misunderstandings of the usefulness and applicability of data is dangerous to unwitting buyers and to the credibility of unknowing vendors.
Good point, @David Bokor?, and webGIS also it a good tool for solving another issue often seen in organisations - access to data thoughout the organisation.
Non-technical decision makers often relate better to numbers that are "indexed", say on a scale of 1 to 100, than raw numbers. For example, saying that 50,000 people in a 5 minute drive time is in the 90th percentile against our fleet of stores is better than just saying it's 50,000 people.
@Peter Horsbøll Møller? @Corey Graft? I see this pattern a lot. The GIS expert uses MapInfo Pro to drill into the data but then uses something like Spectrum Spatial Analyst (SSA) to get that point across to everyone else.
@Steve Wallace? that is a
very good point, having been a customer of software vendors for 17 years, its
sometimes lost that software is an enabler. 'One Size Fits All' approach
doesn't work, software needs to offer flexibility and customisation in a
simplistic way. That one thing we’ve focused on with Spectrum Spatial and Spatial
Analyst, it’s about the customer journey and the business outcome, the focus
for these products are about giving you a stable solution that allows you to
customise the about put you need.
@David Bokor? We will have to ask our partner provider to show us that product. Thanks.
Hi everyone, I would like to ask two questions:
Thanks to all.
I am answering this as a key role for GIS related leads and amature in PB products
GIS users should be enabled with more number of webinars, access to good enough knowledge base in terms of presentations and videos.So that we can mitigate the GIS amature problems. Because amateurs ( Freshers) does the major work ;) they should be informed.