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Steve Benner

The Location Intelligence blog is a place where we can help guide ourselves and others in the use of geospatial technology to make better decisions for our organizations. It is intended to engage the business community by removing the jargon and mystique surrounding Location Intelligence and to entice them to further explore this important extension of business intelligence. It will also engage BI and LI technical experts to help us understand the options and approaches to bringing LI to our organizations. Please join us whether you are and expert or totally new to Location Intelligence. I hope to connect those who know with those who need (even if they do not know it at the moment!).

About the author >

Steve is founder of The Location Intelligence Institute, an education resource focused on assisting business executives in the use of geospatial technology to improve business processes and decision making. He has a broad background in both business processes and geospatial technology and practical experience in bringing the two together. Steve has managed location intelligence integration projects with major business intelligence (BI) vendors and has helped dozens of organizations understand and implement geospatially enabled business and business intelligence solutions.

Steve has helped spread the word about location intelligence as a contributor to IBM Data Warehousing (Gonzales, Wiley, 2003) and Real Estate Market Valuation and Analysis (Karr, Wiley 2005) and as a presenter at industry and user group meetings worldwide.

Steve holds a BS in accounting and marketing from the University of Maine and an MBA from Boston College with a focus on operations research. He can be reached at inquiries@tlii.org.

Editor's Note: More articles and resources are available in Steve's BeyeNETWORK Expert Channel. Be sure to visit today!

May 2011 Archives

As an opening blog on this new channel about Location Intelligence (LI) I thought I'd ask some questions: 
 
What is Location Intelligence anyway?
 
How is it different from:
Location-based Services (LBS)
Location-based whatever (LBx - you supply the "x")
Geographic Business Intelligence (GBI)
Geospatial Business Intelligence (GBI again?)
Geo-Business Intelligence (GeoBI)
Geographic Information System (GIS)
Spatial Information Management (SIM)
A simple Google search on any of these terms will likely lead to more confusion than clarity on the topic. The terms are used by a wide variety of vendors to differentiate themselves,  at least in marketecture. The list will likely grow as the popularity of mapping within BI and other business applications grows. Just playing with the words spatial, geospatial, geographic, geo-, location, location-based, business, and intelligence got me a dozen combinations that had a nice ring to them. So we still have a ways to go. There are at least five new categories waiting for some marketing genius to exploit!
 
The ingredients of location intelligence are debated even by those in the industry.  How confused must the BI community be about it?  Maybe they don't think about it, blissfully (dangerously?)  unaware of what it takes to deliver a LI solution?  Dots on maps is what they know and they are happy with it.  To them, this is LI,  or GBI, or GeoBI, or LBS, or ... whatever.
 
To help this topic along lets start with some basic ingredients that we can collectively modify and blend in our own measure to see what we can bake for a definition LI.  Here is a basic list of ingredients:
  • Standard or custom geometries such as points lines or polygons (states, my territories).
  • Information about each geometric feature (demographics for Maine, territory 3 sales).
  • Visualization of maps of the geometries and their  associated information, paper and electronic.
  • Analysis of spatial relationships, both intuitively and computerized.
  • And the most important:  a problem whose solution can be improved by blending the right amounts of the above.
I offer these as basic ingredients of location intelligence.  Just as it would be hard to bake bread without flour and yeast, it would be hard to deliver LI without these.
 
If you are in the LI business, share your favorite recipe!  Give us the chef's secrets about each ingredient, how to prepare it, and how to bake it all into a solution.  If you are new to LI, tell us what you're hungry for whether it's a big juicy problem or just an appetizer.  If we're successful here, we'll end up with quite a cookbook, one full of problems and recipes to solve them.
 
If you don't care to comment here but would like to share some thoughts or longer comments privately, send them to inquiries@tlii.org
 
We look forward to your feedback!

steve

Posted May 18, 2011 4:03 PM
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