Location without spatial

I am currently busy with a spotlight document that needs some real world narratives illustrating how Where has added measurable value to the business. A few responses have been received but this one from ElegantJ BI is rather interesting and a bit different.

The story is about a National Home Builder company wanting to improve their business by leveraging business intelligence from their data warehouse which consisted of their CRM system, Excel spreadsheets and Sage Accountancy Suite.

The challenge for the vendor was to provide monitoring of actual sales versus the forecast in various areas and to evaluate the ROI (return on investment) of marketing. There was no reliable measure of business performance and KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators). There was a lack of evidence to support business decisions on all levels.

There was no measure of sales or comparison between forecast and actual revenue and no measurement of marketing successes or return on investment. There was also a definite need for improved communications between departments and different divisions of the Group.

ElegantJ BI provided a solution that measured sales and compared forecast with actual revenue. The revenue was measured against forecast by geographic or postcode area, property type, and salesperson.

As the Home Builder customer did not store spatial data and, to short-cut having to geographically locate the postcode area, the data was analysed via a postal code area hierarchy i.e. Postcode area (PO), Postcode district (PO16), Postcode sector (PO16 7), Unit Postcode (PO16 7DZ). This facility still enabled easy identification of best sellers and critical issues by area.

Marketing was measured by analysing enquiries to measure the success of marketing activity by area and medium—such as where the enquiries were coming from (using the postcode hierarchy), and what method was working well i.e. web site, press adverts, TV, radio.

The solution enabled users throughout the organisation to access a unified display of data and information including interactive dashboards which could display the performance of the company.

The vendor described the benefits as maximising sales revenues by identifying the most productive geographical areas and key customer activity. This solution also provided measured marketing, enabling an accurate market strategy with excellent return on investment by establishing the media that worked best in each location.

What I believe the vendor also achieved was an easy solution which used location in a far simpler way. This supports the concept of having location where the accuracy is relevant to the requirements. In addition, the solution is a simple one. It is also, I am sure, a more affordable option and was probably implemented in less time. (The more accurate the data—the higher the cost!)

This really illustrates ElegantJ BI’s claim that their strong points are bespoke and simplified solutions. This story makes me want to understand a bit more about ElegantJ BI and how their product is deployed. It really was an innovative and elegant intelligence solution! For more information see their website at www.elegantjbi.com.

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Natalie Newman is Associate Analyst at Bloor Research. Natalie has been involved in GI all her working life, from South Africa's Surveys and Mapping (Trig-Survey) in Cape Town to BT Global Services in the UK. In between she implemented GIS in two South African local authorities, consulted in the various industries, served as an Officer of the South African National Defence Force, and managed GI in the marketing division of Telkom SA. In the UK, Natalie was the Global Co-ordinator at Hutchison3G for Locations Based Products and then joined BT Global Services. She established the BT GIS Focus Group and worked on various projects mostly in Local Government. Since leaving BT, she has worked as a Spatial Consultant for Netezza.