Although business goals are drastically different from one organization to the other, it’s long been common sense to leverage analytics as much as possible to make decisions. Some organizations put together sophisticated systems to get fact-based answers to their questions, while others hack together whatever system they can afford.
The great news is that analytical capabilities previously limited to larger companies with deep pockets are now available to a broader range of organizations. Plus, even larger companies are benefiting from new SaaS and cloud-based technologies that allow easier access to data often locked in legacy systems. More and more companies can therefore take a proactive approach to their decision making, an approach based on facts, vs the reactive approaches of the past.
Take law enforcement. When SpatialKey first launched, we immediately received interest from police departments looking into better approaches to crime fighting. Most already used sophisticated RMS or CompStat data systems, yet those systems did not take into account data from other systems or outside sources. For example gang data might be in one database, crime incidents in RMS, and offender information in a spreadsheet with no easy way to pull the information together to make better policing decisions. What they saw in SpatialKey was a way to get a better ROI on their investments by adding new dimensions to their data analysis capabilities.
With SpatialKey, a commander for example can bring in data from multiple sources and start looking for patterns: there are a string of robberies happening in a neighborhood- how can we curtail these? Who are the parolees or known offenders living within x miles of that area? Is there a specific time of the day that these crimes occur? In the police world, they call this Intelligence-led policing- the ability to leverage intelligence to guide crime fighting decisions. So if the commander sees a pattern in the time when crimes occur, increasing the number of patrol cars in the neighborhood at that time is a fact-based approach that hopefully will generate faster/cheaper results. And all it took was a couple minutes of analysis with SpatialKey vs randomly patrolling the area.
Well data is data is data. What we’ve seen in the past year is that a Sales VPs’ data analysis needs are actually not that different from a police chief’s (or any other decision maker for that matter). At the end of the day, what’s important for organizations is to find ways to pull together information critical to decision making and make it available to the people who need to actually make those decisions. So for one parolees, crime logs, or calls for service are key data points to look into to make fact-based decisions, for the other it might be sales leads, product sales, customer calls or customer demographics. And of course the types of data SpatialKey clients need to analyze is as varied as their industries.
The common thread we’ve found amongst all of our clients is that although they already have data analysis capabilities (most already use some form of BI or GIS system), those systems do not provide them the ad-hoc, “get the answer now” data analysis needs the addition of SpatialKey provides.
So although a Sales VP might be using Salesforce as a great CRM tool, there is no easy way to tie the salesforce data to other internal or external data sources to make better decisions to maximize sales opportunities. By incorporating SpatialKey with Salesforce, he/she can now bring in demographic information or competitive data into the picture. Are there patterns, geographic or otherwise, that can help guide sales staff deployment or lead closing activities? Is there a correlation between deal size and marketing activities? What works best to close leads in this geography vs the other?
In a fast-paced world when we all need an answer yesterday, the benefit they see in SpatialKey is that not only can they leverage knowledge they never had before, but they also don’t need to wait on data analysis gurus to get answers. They can do that analysis themselves- on the fly. Many actually use SpatialKey in meetings so that “what if” questions can be answered immediately. Maybe we should call this Intelligence-led sales…..
Please visit spatialkey.com for more information. We also offer a free trial if you want to take a spin of the app with your own data.