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What’s the best approach to roll out location intelligence at your company?

Localize, analyze, then act. The principles of location intelligence must be integrated into a company’s procedures to optimize decision-making. But how do you implement such an approach in your organization?

Enter the key expression ‘location intelligence’ in your search engine. You’ll find a whole host of definitions, many of them contradictory. In my opinion, it is possible to explain the concept in a straightforward way by setting out its objectives: localize, analyze and then act. To put it another way, location intelligence uses the spatial coordinates (x and y) of data to get a better picture of events, situations or even systems. And the goal is to improve effectiveness and make better decisions.

It’s all a matter of size: how can you implement location intelligence within a company?

Location intelligence versus traditional BI

Ideally, in B2C companies in particular, there is an integrated source of information, the data warehouse. In the data warehouse, relevant data from various sources needed to run the company are collected together in a uniform format. Very often, this is a data set that describes business processes using key indicators such as turnover, profitability or even the performance of a geographical location.

So, can traditional business intelligence solutions create location intelligence? They can, of course, provide simple answers to the questions ‘who’, ‘what’ and ‘how many’, but they tend to overlook the ‘where’ a bit too easily!

However, ‘where’ is an element that makes it possible to make a better assessment of all key decision factors. If we look at a data warehouse more carefully, we discover that spatial data is very often available already, such as client addresses, branch locations, sales areas, targeted marketing areas, risk areas, infrastructures (roads, electricity networks, gas, public transportation, etc.) and rival companies. However, due to inadequate technology, map analysis and visualization are very poor in traditional business intelligence solutions. So, we needed to come up with another approach.

Selected data localization method

It all starts with geocoding. Every object (potential clients, existing clients, organizations, etc.) with a spatial reference will have one or more coordinates (x and y, for example) assigned in the database. This information will be available for display on a map linked to business analyses.

This geocoding can be done automatically in the data warehouse every time an address changes or a new one is added. Once this geographical information (the ‘where’) is known and the object located, it is possible, by simply intersecting the spatial information with the business information, for every object in the form of a point, line or surface to inherit attributes (such as product-related purchasing power, allocation by department, socio-demographic indicators, the attractiveness of a location, potential flood-risk areas, and performing and under-performing sectors).

The value and return on investment of a data set in a data warehouse are therefore boosted thanks to location intelligence! The data warehouse moves from being a ‘single source of truth’ to a mine of information contextualized in relation to a geographic reality. It’s a new order which companies can no longer do without.

This post was originally published on Galigeo Blog

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Geocode your addresses on-the-fly in SAP Lumira 2.0

Hi fellow readers.

As self-service has finally made its way through the Business Intelligence world, and proven itself being very useful beyond the buzz it firstly generated, user expectations are getting higher and higher.

Like Iver van de Zand already mentioned in this great blog post, with the restaurant analogy, business analysts and end-users, which are the primary targets of self-service analytics, can be seen either as guest, or cook.

But in both case, guests and cooks want their meals to be easy to cook and taste good, like they want their analytics journey to be a piece of cake. Their prior skills in the analytics world should not matter. And to make everything simple to use for everyone, THAT is not simple.

Fortunately, SAP and its partner ecosystem have worked hard to make analytics easy to leverage. After months of merging together SAP Lumira and SAP Design Studio, the result of it all is about to kick in, named SAP Lumira 2.0. With its new capabilities, Lumira 2.0 will bring together all the ingredients needed by the guests and the cooks in a single, trusted and scalable BI solution.

One really cool feature that will be available, is the possibility for one to geocode on-the-fly its addresses contain in its data.

To add a little bit of context, every vertical has geomapping needs:

  • Where are my customers located?
  • Where are my plants impacted by this or that event?
  • Where are the shops generating the most revenue?

You could literally find hundreds of other examples, but this is not the point of this blog.

The reality is, that to plot your points of interest on a map, you need to have them geocoded. But most of the time, companies only have the addresses in their datasets, and they lack the precious x and ycoordinates, a.k.a the geocoded version of the addresses.

A company could want to start a “batch geocoding strategy”, and rely on geocoding service providers out of there. SAP itself, with its SAP HANA Spatial, can geocode addresses on-premise by running batch jobs.

But in our case, we are talking about self-service. When a business analyst drags its address dimension in Lumira, he/she expects to see them appearing on map, and you can’t tell him/her “wait for a week and they will be geocoded”. Well, with geocoding on-the-fly, this is now a reality.

Here is the overall process enabling geocoding to be performed on-the-fly.

The video below showcases concretely how this is going to work, here in Lumira Discovery. The global process will also be the same in Lumira Designer, and Lumira Server.

In the video, the geocoding is done live using an online service, meaning that the addresses are sent to a third-party server, that itself sends back coordinates from these addresses when the geocoding process is over. This way of working is pretty handy, because for the company leveraging it, there is absolutely no cost of infrastructure, no server to deploy and update, no worry about maintaining a service… It’s cloud.

Of course, such system might cause security or confidentiality problems for companies in specific verticals. And some departments just do not have access to internet anyway.

In this case, the geocoding module can be deported on the company side: the addresses will be sent to an on-premise server, and nothing will go outside the company infrastructure.

I hope you guys are thrilled about this new capability that will bring a lot to the table. Geocoding is part of a whole, and you can learn more about geomapping capabilities for SAP BI at www.galigeo.com.

Galigeo is the world leader in location analytics softwares for more than 15 years. It is an SAP Solution Extension Partner, and its products are certified by SAP.

Feel free to leave a comment, or make sure to stay tuned to the latest Galigeo news about geocoding and geomapping solutions for SAP BI.

⇒ Galigeo on Linkedin
⇒ Galigeo on Twitter

Do not hesitate to check Iver van de Zand personnal blog as well, definitively worth subscribing to get the latest analytics news: http://www.ivervandezand.com/!

Cheers.

Vincent

 


This article was originally posted on SAP Blog

Analyze and rectify customer base thanks to geocoding of addresses !

Data quality, a major challenge for business management

Each year, 10 to 15% of the data contained in the Customer databases are subject to changes related to, among other things, addresses, telephone or company name changes.

Improving the quality of the client database also requires deduplication actions and better organization of their business data.

It is always possible to use traditional techniques such as “siretisation” of addresses for French customers, optimization of the management of the DUNS number internationally or even the certification of addresses with the help of specialized third-party companies.

But today, there is a much more innovative and efficient approach, the analysis and the recovery of the addresses thanks to the geocoding!!

 

 

 What does that mean exactly ?

The geolocation of its customers involves the geocoding of addresses, namely the addition of X, Y coordinates in order to be able to visualize on the basis of the map, the positioning of prospects and customers.

The geocoding will reveal ‘visually’ and in a very explicit way the problems (Addresses nonexistent, duplicates, …).

Today, geocoding engines allow geocoding addresses in more than 140 countries

 

How it works ?

When you run a geocoding on an address database, you get two types of results: non-geocoded addresses and geocoded addresses.

In general, non-geocoded addresses are linked to a coding problem: badly-filled postal code, wrong address.

These errors are easy to correct despite a long and tedious side.

 

What about the addresses actually considered to be correctly geocoded ?

Geocoders do not all have the same approach; Some will provide contact details even if they didn’t found the address, others will provide a bad geocoding rate but will be very accurate for good results.

Several methods are possible to verify the quality of the geocoding according to the “Match rate” obtained:

  • Positioning the points according to their Latitude and Longitude on a graph makes it possible to highlight points that are too offset. Addresses located on the outskirts may be false. This analysis works well on limited areas across a country. It can be refined by removing too eccentric values during the first iteration.
  • Work on points with the same location using the previous graph or via a spreadsheet formula. For example, if a large number of points have the same position, the geocoding did not recognize the city or street.
  • Check the returned standard address. Via a formula in a spreadsheet, it is possible to compare the input address and the standard address returned by the geocoding application. If the address is set to the number but the number is different from the input, geocoding does not have the expected quality.

It will also be possible to “compete” several geocoding tools to increase the quality of the analyzes.

 

Errors from the analysis have been identified, what to do ?

It all depends on the data involved and the desired result.

On the expected rendering, the necessary precision must be identified; For example, for the identification of the presence or absence of a tourist office in a city, the positioning in the city is sufficient.

The use of another geocoder makes it possible to improve the zone to be geocoded. Consider whether a common point to these addresses would not mislead them as a different city name from the Postal Code. Lastly, manual repositioning should be considered as a last resort, if necessary, by the operational teams.

Pour approfondir Vandy Berten https://www.smalsresearch.be/comparer-des-geocodeurs/

This article was originally posted on Galigeo blog: https://www.galigeo.com

Infrabel choose Galigeo!

Infrabel LogoInfrabel is responsible for the management, maintenance and development of the Belgian rail network. To do this, it has regional teams who intervene in the field in the event of technical problems in terms of electricity, signage, civil engineering works and roads. In addition, Infrabel regularly conducts general inspections. These enable the rapid detection of aged infrastructures and technical defects, so that they can be repaired and / or replaced in good time.

The solution Galigeo for SAP BI allows, thanks to the management and geolocation of the sensors capturing the transition of trains on the rails, a significant improvement of the quality of invoicing to the user companies.

Geo-visualizing the different zones associated to land reserves enable Infrabel to better see and manages them. For example, seeing the price deviations between the different land reserves becomes much more transparent. In the long run, Galigeo Extensions will enable a more effective optimization and valuation of Infrabel’s land tenure.

Finally, the geolocation of the equipment facilitates the maintenance of the various parts and optimizes the planning of the intervention teams.

Infrabel choose Galigeo

The 3 cores of Location Intelligence (part 1 – Location Discovery)

Location Intelligence is known as the use of spatial reference for the improvement of Data Visualization, Analysis, and Event Forecast. Through the connection of alphanumeric and spatial data an additional and intuitive view is created, which makes it possible to recognize spatial patterns, trends and potentials. Through the consideration of spatial conditions, Location Intelligence creates an optimized entrepreneurial decision-making base in Business Intelligence Solutions, and an improved customer interaction, as well as integrating a higher process quality in business processes.

 

If one is searching the Internet for notions such as Location Intelligence (hereinafter called “LI”), Location Analytics, GeoMapping or other catchwords, one will find a variety of interpretations and definitions. However, there is no clear representation of the necessary elements that determine Location Intelligence. In principle it is possible to describe in a closed loop with the 3 memorable words LOCALIZE-ANALYZE-ACT; WHAT one wishes to reach with LI. However, the question remains of HOW one can usefully establish LI in a company. Basically there are 3 cores to differentiate:

Location-Intelligence

1. Location Discovery (Data Warehouse “Tuning“):

Ideally in B2C companies an integrated information source (Data Warehouse, hereinafter called “DWH”) exists in which relevant data from different sources for the corporate management are brought together in a uniform format. If it is a customer centered DWH, i.e. a dataset which describes processes between businesses and customers, then data or key performance indicators like turnover, customer profitability, customer rankings, site performance, sales, sales performance and customer satisfaction will usually be stored within it.

Traditional BI solutions give simplified answers to the questions “Who, What and How much”. The question of “Where” is however often neither asked nor answered. Yet the “Where” controls often the “When, Who and How much” and then makes possible an objective assessment where all important factors including the spatial references are taken into account.

If one looks more attentively at a customer centered DWH, one discovers that spatial data is already available, such as customer addresses, branch locations, sales areas, marketing target areas, risk areas, supply chain relationships, routes and competitive structures for example. Due to inadequate technology, however, the visualization and analysis in traditional BI solutions are not available.

Location Discovery begins with the so-called Geocoding. Every object with spatial reference will have one or more coordinates (x/y, or Lat/Long) assigned in the database and will thus be made available on a geographic map for the subsequent spatial representations and analysis. This event takes place in the DWH every time a spatial data changes or a new one is added. Once the WHERE is known, once something is located, it is possible through simple intersection of spatial information for every point, every line or surface to inherit attributes (like product-related purchasing power, product affinities, socio-demographic indicators, risk class, area affiliations, etc.). This process is well described and identified as “Data Refining”.

The value and ROI of a dataset in a customer centered DWH is thereby significantly increased. The DWH turns from “single point of truth” to “single point of business value”. Location Intelligence begins therefore with the back end environment and not at the front end.

 

This post by Olivia Sedant originally appeared on Galigeo Blog

General Electric Healthcare strengthens its collaboration with Galigeo

General Electric Healthcare, specializes in manufacturing medical equipment such as imaging systems, surgical navigation, and monitoring and molecular diagnostics.

With Galigeo For Salesforce, each rep can visualize its leads and customers on a map, and more importantly correlate other data (competition, turnovers, open tickets on equipment, etc.) related to its clients, which are mainly hospitals or private medical practices.

Sales segmentation will be integrated into the process and tool. The use of Salesforce will become much easier for managers (Changing territories according to sales and market indicators, automatic calculation of potential, balancing, scenarios, automatic reassignment of accounts, …).

Several hundred thousand leads and customers are currently being managed.

Thanks to a geomarketing approach integrated with Salesforce, GEH significantly increases the efficiency of its sales team in a highly competitive global economic environment.

more info on https://www.galigeo.com

Register to Galigeo for SAP Webinar – Asia (Feb 2nd)

Discover what’s so great about the G17 release.

We’re proud to announce that our most ambitious release to date is now available. Galigeo G17 is a must have update for all Galigeo customers: benefit from improved performance and a large number of new features.

Galigeo location intelligence solution allows users and businesses to leverage their data by visualizing data sets on a map – view your data geographically and better understand and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your business activities.

Register below to attend our Webinar for Asia Pacific:
2 February @ 3pm Singapore Time
(2pm Indochina Time)

Register to the Webinar

During this webinar we will present from concrete examples, improvements and innovations made to Galigeo for SAP BusinessObjects.

Content of this session:

  • Importing personal data from Excel sheet
  • Smart Mapping: Drag and drop indicators directly on a map
  • Customization of graphical representations: flows, personal labels, heatmaps
  • … and much more!