ASYST Intelligence – a focused provider of strategic business intelligence and data management solutions to companies in Africa – has developed easy-to-use Graphical Business Intelligence (GBI) solutions that empower users to graphically represent business information on maps.
The solutions integrate with Google Earth and the SAP BusinessObjects portal, taking existing co-ordinates from source systems and matching them to business KPIs to add a spatial dimension to operational and efficiency data. The solutions enable drill-down reporting and high-level dashboards, with capabilities to query and plot numerous layers of data in a variety of ways.
“These tools provide a third, ‘locational’ dimension to business intelligence to give geographical context to information that would typically be shown on graphs or in pie charts on a dashboard. They simply provide a different way to view information about how the business is performing and the ability plot clusters, anomalies and trends geographically.
“Our solutions are an enabler for business users, enhancing their experience with business intelligence, and making it simpler, better and quicker to dynamically represent business information on maps,” says MD Paul Morgan.
Morgan says although it’s been possible to use traditional geographic information systems (GIS) to illustrate and depict business intelligence geographically on maps for some time, it is a long and laborious process that normal business users aren’t typically equipped to do.
“With our GBI solutions, we are putting tools for geographical analysis in the user’s hands. Using our tools, geographic information from Google Earth or any other mapping system is easily integrated with a business’s source data, and at a lower cost,” he says.
With GBI, companies have another entry point for viewing and analysing data. Information on specific points on a map, such as customer information, branches, product sales data relating to a specific area, population density and demographics can be plotted and shown dynamically on the map.
At a glance, companies get a complete picture of the business from a geographical perspective. For instance, building and expansion programmes can be plotted in relation to other projects that need to contribute to growth and expansion.
GBI can also be used for sales and market research purposes. For example, the distribution department of a manufacturing company can get an overview of its existing customer base and where its locations are in relation to the provincial data on average income to help it identify the proximity of its biggest collectives of customers in relation to main depots and any other KPIs that drive the business.
It can also be used to get a clearer understanding of customer demographics and geographical relationships. For instance, a retail chain may use national census data on the number of people in an area and their profiles in relation to existing stores and sales turnovers to determine where new stores or upgrades are viable. Or, a beverage company would be able to analyse the concentration of sales of a specific drink according to area and drill down, using census data, to find out what the average age and income of the people in each area are to get a picture of who’s buying more of what drink in which areas – and possibly why.
GBI can also be used for infrastructure and environmental impact analysis. Also using national census population data, a rail company for instance could get a clear view of the number of people that might be affected by new corridor projects. If for instance, most of the people in that area are over the age of 60 years, the company knows that the labour force could not be sourced locally.
For public sector, an example would be driving improvement of performance in Education. The GBI solution has already mapped schools data to population so end users can gain a better indication of the distribution of schools and how many learners and educators there are in each school. This information is contrasted with the average income and adult population of the suburb or province.
Getting cracking with GBI is a very straight forward. All that’s required is the source information and GPS coordinates. ASYST Intelligence can provide a data warehouse as part of a GBI project if the company does not have the source systems in place.
“GBI makes geographical analysis simple and fast, and makes sharing and reporting more visual and dynamic,” concludes Morgan.