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Data analytics through AI and automation to boost geospatial technology – Keith Nichols, Thomson Reuters

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Keith Nichols, Managing Director, Government Tax and Accounting Business, Thomson Reuters, US

Geospatial technology is ubiquitous and easier to use now more than ever. This has led to a much broader use of the technology than ever before. It is a bit cliché to say there has never been a more exciting time for the collective geospatial industry, but it is true. The demand for location-based data will continue to explode, and the need to simplify complex data to find answers has never been greater. Geospatial information and tools will continue to be the basis of, and add value to, many of the technology solutions for the future.

Consider a valuation office: in the past, a typical government office would need geographic information systems support from the GIS office. But today, thanks to Web applications, a valuation office can access maps, data and imagery without the need for in-depth geospatial expertise. Likewise, geospatial tools are more accessible and familiar to a growing number of users, including the public.

We see an opportunity for more transparency and trust in the industry for the future. Geospatial technologies have a unique role in this regard, as the ability to deliver mapped information is both powerful and meaningful. In other words, people can quickly relate to the information they see on a map and how it impacts their place, or location, in this world.

The right partnership

We believe that governments embrace social and mobile data as a means of communication because it is easy to see the power of distributing information quickly. When it comes to analytics and Cloud data, we see that governments are just scratching the surface.

In terms of analytics we don’t think governments fully realize the power of the information they possess, and therefore, they don’t invest enough in this area. The volume of data that the public sector is tasked with managing is daunting, and this doesn’t even get into how they approach or analyze this data. But we believe
that by partnering with the private sector, governments can unlock the power of data

Solving complex issues

At Thomson Reuters we enable customers to manage land and property information more fairly and efficiently, including the administration of property tax, which is a major source of Big Data for governments, and by extension, the public. This role of the government is central to a well-functioning society and economy in every country.

We will continue to see a greater need for technology to solve complex problems. To that end, data analytics through artificial intelligence and automation will continue to increase in importance. Datasets in every industry will only grow and get more complex, and so the ability to unlock answers from the vast ocean of data will be key.

Corporations, governments, and citizens/consumers will get used to instant answers and continue to demand more and more information at greater speed and accuracy.