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I recently had the good fortune to attend the Esri Business Summit and User Conference in San Diego. Esri is the leading global provider of geographic information systems (GIS) and provides the software behind Aons Intelligent Risk Mapping application. The conference drew some 15,000 attendees from all parts of the globe who use Esri's software. At the Business Summit I was honored to present two papers on how Aon eSolutions has implemented Esris GIS software within our RiskConsole risk management information system and the value it is providing to our customers.
There were many great insights shared at this conference, and I'm grateful that the sessions were recorded, since I was unable to attend all of the sessions of interest and so need to follow up on some of them using the recorded videos.
The theme of the conference was "GIS Transforming our World." In the plenary session, Esri President Jack Dangermond made an interesting observation about the power of technology to transform the world, using GPS as an example. He commented that just a few years ago no one would have thought that it would be impossible to ever get lost, but now due to the ubiquity of GPS, it's literally true that no one can get lost anymore (assuming they're carrying a GPS-enabled device, of course). The theme of the conference was that GIS can have the same transformative power over our lives and the world around us.
What are some of the ways GIS can have this transformative power?
Those businesses that are positioned to take advantage of these trends have the potential to leapfrog beyond their peers and gain competitive advantage through use of these location-based analytics. How are companies using this type of analysis to improve results? Of course, the classic example of the use of location analytics is by real estate departments concerned with optimizing new site locations. Beyond this, though, the potential applications are countless, including many of particular interest to the risk, insurance and safety communities:
One speaker sketched out what he called the "spatial maturity" curve as a classification scheme for defining where organizations stand in their use of location analytics. The curve begins with the "geographically blind," who use only charts and tables to analyze their operations. As companies move up this curve they become location entrenched, using maps and location analytics throughout the organization. By moving up this curve through the use of technology, businesses stand to significantly improve operations and results and gain competitive advantage. A location entrenched firm will see the benefit of incorporating location analytics through tools such as Aons Intelligent Mapping Application into their risk management information system.
Mark LeVeque is a Product Consultant with Aon eSolutions, based in the Atlanta office. Contact Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jul 17, 2013
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