Location Intelligence to Innovate Business Intelligence - InformationWeek

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Software // Information Management

Location Intelligence to Innovate Business Intelligence

MapInfo provides location information for context in operational performance management.

VentanaView™

At their user conference, MapInfo presented their roadmap for bringing location intelligence to the forefront of the business intelligence industry This business innovation, which leverages location and geographical information through a set of software and services, bridges a gap in the business intelligence technology market by delivering the geographic and location element directly to your application developers and business users. Ventana Research recommends that any organization looking to address the questions of where their assets, customers, competitors are located, and how to improve performance in those areas, should examine this new innovation at MapInfo.

Assessment
MapInfo, a $225m+ provider of software, information and services in location intelligence offers a new opportunity for organizations to reach their performance targets. Location intelligence is a newly defined business focus and software solution set that has evolved from the historical niche GIS market of the 90's into a mainstream conversation and opportunity for business. Ventana Research believes that organizations that do not embrace location and related information will fall behind competitors and fail to remain effective in their operations.

The use of location is critical for any product- or services-focused organization that is looking to proactively identify opportunities, analyze competitive threats, and utilize existing resources to improve customer profitability. Marketing, sales, service and supply chain areas should integrate location and geographic/demographic information into their management and business analysis operations. Applications like consumer lifestyle, direct mail, budget allocation, store maturity rate and clustering, brand/category and sales forecasting are all potential operational areas that can be enhanced.

MapInfo improves customer intelligence and supports operational performance management through a set of software and services. The application developers can use MapXtreme for Microsoft and .NET environments, while Java and web services approaches can use MapInfo Envinsa. Strategic analysts who want full decision support capabilities should look to the flagship product MapInfo Professional that provides a full array of geographic and demographic information, including analytical services, to support custom needs.

Market Impact
The market for location intelligence is rapidly growing in demand and in competitive differentiation. MapInfo is leading this charge and is demonstrating how to integrate location into critical applications for BI and performance management. BI vendors have been historically slow to integrate mapping and location as part of their mainstream activities. MicroStrategy and MapInfo have worked together in joint product integration and customer development. MapInfo will need to work with the larger BI vendors and the large ERP/CRM providers to make location mainstream.

Recommendation
Organizations looking to become more competitive within their operations and finance functions should examine how location intelligence can improve their ability to truly address their performance management initiatives. MapInfo, through its unique and innovative technologies for business and IT, has accelerated organizations’ ability to improve business processes and resulting performance. BI, from a business and technology perspective, will not be complete without leveraging Location Intelligence to bring new levels of efficiency and effectiveness to your business.

Mark Smith is CEO and Senior Vice President of Research at Ventana Research.

Ventana Research is the preeminent research and advisory services firm helping our clients maximize stakeholder value with Performance Management throughout their organizations. Putting research in a business and IT context we provide insight and education on the best practices, methodologies and technologies that enable our clients to leverage assets to understand, optimize, and align strategies and processes to meet their goals and objectives.

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