Combining data for business insight

Mar 8 2017

Spatial Data Company AfriGIS’s first quarter Data and Spatial Workshop held on 7 March in Midrand explored how geospatial data can applied to create business intelligence.


AfriGIS’s Anneliese Ahrens, Vuyo Mazabane, Erna Lubbinge and Irene Masia (Photo credits: PositionIT)

The company’s Christopher Ueckermann explained how multiple identifiers (e.g. erf number, postal addresses etc.) can be used to describe the same spatial location, and why linking different identifiers is important to enhance a location’s searchability. He also highlighted the latest additions and updates to twelve of the company’s datasets. Notably, process enhancements have led to major additions to the Street Centrelines and Sectional Scheme datasets. Besides updates, the datasets are also maintained and the confidence rating of entries (an accuracy indicator) reviewed.


Multiple identifiers can be used to describe the same spatial location when linking different identifiers, to enhance a location’s searchability – Christopher Ueckermann (Photo credits: PositionIT)

AfriForum’s William Waugh and AfriGIS’s Armand van der Merwe showed how this data can be used in business intelligence applications.


Waugh said that since communities are traditionally geographically grouped, geospatial data can be used effectively in operations such as identifying potential new members. The civil rights organisation geocoded their existing data using AfriGIS products such as GISlike, and then combined it with AfriGIS and other publicly and freely available data such as Statistics South Africa data. Data from an organisation’s partnerships should not be overlooked either, he said.


Waugh recommended adding a spatial component to data even if there is no immediate need for it. Spatial identifiers ease integration later when combining multiple datasets, and can produce richer insights he said.


AfriGIS Spatial and Data Workshop (Photo credits: PositionIT)

Armand van der Merwe also stressed the importance of geocoding data upfront. Geocoding data at the point of capture can save time and costs later, and means datasets are always ready to be combined with other spatial datasets. Due to its static nature, coordinate data is usually better than other types of data such as polygons, as it can easier be integrated into different applications. Maintaining and keeping data updated is also crucial for accurate insights, Van der Merwe said.


Both speakers encouraged the audience of GIS users to get organisation-wide buying to realise the value of business intelligence, and to demonstrate to colleagues how each of them could benefit from business intelligence in their own work.


Source – PositionIT

We use cookies to give you the best experience.