Bringing home the… data?
In geospatial tech, data has always been the lost stepchild. Or, it’s the “rocket fuel” of geographic information systems (GIS). Take your pick. It depends on who you work for or what you need. The bottom line? For location analytics, only the best, most current data will do.
Today, data is the new bacon. It sizzles; it’s crispy; it’s essential to the complete buffet of geographic information systems (GIS). There are no eggs without bacon. Likewise, you can’t run GIS or advanced location analytics without data.
In today’s mobile society, there is more location-based data than ever before being collected and repackaged for sale. Twitter, Facebook, and other social media apps collect data from their users and offer it to advertisers. Anonymously, of course. But cell phones are constantly broadcasting location-based data – how else would you play PokemonGo? And, standard fare that includes population demographics are “meat and potatoes” for today’s hungry marketing managers.
Yet, the challenge for many users is an inability to find this so-called smorgasbord of data. And if found, how to consume it. Pitney Bowes offers a data catalog replete with an abundance of data. It’s digestible since it has been divided into discrete categories: streets, points of interest, boundaries and demographics. To this menu has been added industry data bundles for retail, insurance, telecommunications and others. The coverage is global, the content rich and the file formats for use are extensive.
(Discover easy analytics of all kinds of data by signing up for the Watson Analytics free edition at www.watsonanalytics.com.)
An insatiable hunger for a full breakfast with data
While GIS is familiar to those educated about location technology, others are new to location analytics – especially the millions of users of business intelligence (BI) solutions that are starting to include basic mapping. In the BI domain, maps are the background against which analysts and line of business users display data and analytics. For example, heat maps showing the concentrations of customers, facilities or even IoT devices offer a unique proximity of spatial relationships not afforded by spreadsheets. Taking in data from in-house and external sources is essential to deriving the insights that impact business outcomes. Pitney Bowes can satisfy that insatiable desire for more — more data and software capabilities.
A typical location analytics problem is to help identify areas of a high risk of natural disasters: floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, mudslides or earthquakes. These risk factors impact a high percentage of the US population living in proximity to a coastline. The east coast is exposed to hurricanes and floods, while the west coast has its fair share of earthquakes and mudslides. And this is precisely the problem: which neighborhoods are in closest proximity to the highest risk? This is critically important to insurance companies, mortgage underwriters and public safety officials. It is a “location” problem and it requires the best data coupled with the best geocoding.
Coming soon to Watson Analytics and Cognos Analytics: Delicious data choices
These capabilities will soon be available to IBM Cognos Analytic and Watson Analytics clients as well. Recently, IBM teamed with Pitney Bowes to embed its data as a foundational element by which geospatial analysis will be enabled within its platforms. This will incorporate the market’s best global, political and postal boundaries inside IBM’s mapping user interface (UI). Want school, tax, trade area or neighborhood boundaries? Those, along with demographic and other data, such as points of Interest and micro-audience profiles, can all be layered onto maps to enrich user data as they power location analytics within IBM platforms. For Cognos Analytics and Watson Analytics users, it will be a satisfying experience with a near endless menu of delicious data choices…including bacon.
Want more information now?
Learn more about Pitney Bowes geocoding here.
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About the guest blogger
As managing director for geospatial industry solutions, Joe Francica brings over 30 years of experience in location intelligence to support the product management team at Pitney Bowes. He works directly with the sales and marketing organizations bringing an enterprise IT focus in various vertical industry sectors where location intelligence can add significant value and a competitive advantage. Prior to joining Pitney Bowes, Francica was the editor in chief and vice publisher of Directions Magazine, the most widely read geospatial technology publication.
Editor’s note: Mapping and risk graphics courtesy of Pitney Bowes.