‘GIS has to get integrated into enterprise information systems’

‘GIS has to get integrated into enterprise information systems’


Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Businesses need enterprise decision support system with geospatial-enabled analysis. For that, GIS has to get integrated into enterprise information systems rather than trying to exist on its own. These were the views coming out of the session on Enterprise GIS held on the second day of the Asia Geospatial Forum 2013 here on Wednesday.

Speaking on Google’s enterprise solutions in location business, Pankaj Khushani, Head of Geospatial (Asia), Google, said traditional GIS systems are not easy to use and the reason why Google Maps and Google Earth have been successful is because they are easy to use. “Location as an industry has grown phenomenally in the last 5-6 years and Google is investing millions of dollars in location business.” He also gave a few examples of how companies and even organisations like Red Cross are using maps as part of their workflows to make their jobs easier and more effective, saving money and lives in the process. “Maps let you take a peak at what is going to happen tomorrow and it can help us prepare for the future,” he said, adding there are over a million apps using Google Maps and more than 50% of the traffic to Google Maps came via these apps.

Kam Tin Seong, Faculty Head, SMU-SAS Advanced Analytics Lab, School of Information Systems, Singapore Management University (SMU), during his presentation dispelled the myth that GIS is special. “GIS can’t exist as something special. GIS has to get into the business environment,” he said, adding that what matters ultimately to businesses are not beautiful maps, but RoI and charts and graphs showing key performance indicators. Businesses need spatial data mining techniques and GIS data needs to be inserted into enterprise data to create something informative. Seong pointed out that in the education field too, geospatial analytics for business intelligence is moving away from conventional GIS education. He added that unlike traditional GIS courses where they talk about only coordinates and GIS layers etc, SMU is designing courses that cater to a wide spectrum of business intelligence and data mining techniques.

Echoing similar sentiments, Brad Skelton, Chief Technology Strategist, Intergraph SG&I, demonstrated how various Hexagon companies work in cohesion to create seamless solutions for businesses in a wide array of areas such as Public Safety, Infrastructure, and agriculture. “Today it is not sufficient to think of GIS in isolation. Enterprise solutions need an integration of sensors, data collection, organisational analytics, and integration and interoperability,” he said. Giving live examples of total geospatial solutions, he said the city of Sao Paulo reduced ambulance response time by over 72% using Intergraph solutions. Similarly, it helps Virginia Beach share critical information within seconds instead of hours; while it helps Encor Electric correct outages even before customers get to know about them.

Suresh A. Shanmugam, Head, Mahindra & Mahindra Financial, India, outlined how GIS can step out of its conventional role and integrate with other data to create solutions for the banking and finance sector. “Geospatial combined with business trends and behaviour patterns gives you an insight into consumer minds,” he said as he laid out the extensive use of geospatial data by Mahindra Finance in rural India.

Source: Our Correspondent