The Spatial Data Revolution is Here

There’s no doubt Google Maps is good for travel directions, but what if your organisation could also use online mapping tools to quickly respond to unhappy customers? What if you could use a map to quickly identify suburbs where service standards are falling, before customers complain? What if your maintenance teams could plan their routes to save travel time? Until now, this spatial data – the geographical coordinates of roads, offices, and water pipes – has been stored within complex geographic information systems (GISs) accessible only to mapping experts. This is changing, now that mapping technology is being built into back-office systems. We predict this will alter the way managers make decisions and how customers interact with organisations.

Saving time

Instead of relying solely on spreadsheets and charts, managers will be able to look at data on a map, allowing them to quickly spot trends and prioritise resources. Councils can already do this to see roads with reported defects, for example. This approach will transform how maintenance is managed. For example, TechnologyOne’s Ci Anywhere platform can pinpoint the location of a faulty office air-conditioner, including its floor and exact position, on a map. The map icon would also link to the unit’s technical details and maintenance history, allowing repair teams to access a full suite of information about the air-conditioner. East Gippsland Water in Victoria is using Ci Anywhere’s spatial capabilities to help workers pinpoint pipes. By performing a network trace using Ci Anywhere on a tablet device, they can immediately see which homes or businesses would be affected by a disruption to the water supply during repairs. This allows workers to avoid potentially disastrous mistakes, and they don’t need to wait for someone at the office to perform these checks. This capability could be extended to the management of roads and stormwater drains in the future.

This network trace function previously wasn’t linked to property details, aerial photography, or other business data – nor was it accessible on mobile devices via the cloud. Customers, too, will benefit from these changes. Just as they can search a retail website for the nearest store, they can use online maps to interact with your organisation. For example, local governments using Ci Anywhere can allow people wishing to build or renovate to see the required planning permits for each location.

Better decisions

Without spatial data, managers can’t see the whole picture. Now, government organisations, universities, and health and community service providers can use Ci Anywhere to monitor on a map what customers are saying via social media. This makes it easy to spot growing demand for a business precinct, for example. Councils can identify a pattern of dead trees logged by maintenance workers, or monitor how residents in different suburbs are reacting via social media to new regulations.

Only the beginning

The opportunity to transform business management increases as spatial data becomes more accessible. Governments are opening up their spatial data for use by third parties , while mapping initiatives are adding to the amount of available spatial data. Greater use of sensors to connect everything from offices, cars, and parking meters to the Internet of Things will also result in a flood of new spatial data. Businesses that don’t take advantage of this data will be at a disadvantage. A great way to prepare for the future is to integrate back-office systems with spatial data, or adopt a system such as Ci Anywhere that already includes this capability.

By David Baxter, General Manager, Spatial TechnologyOne

For over 25 years, David has worked in the spatial industry and is passionate about the potential for spatial information to enhance business processes. David is currently responsible for the delivery of world-class enterprise spatial solutions and professional services to our expanding client base. With extensive experience in the spatial industry, David’s vision is to deeply embed spatial capability into end-user workflows to support enhanced business outcomes. In May 2015, Digital Mapping Solutions (DMS) was acquired by TechnologyOne to further enhance the spatial capabilities of the TechnologyOne enterprise suite. Established in 1994, David was the founder and Managing Director of DMS and was responsible for the business and software development that saw DMS establish itself as a leading enterprise spatial software provider across Australia and New Zealand.

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About TechnologyOne

TechnologyOne (ASX:TNE) is Australia's largest enterprise software company and one of Australia's top 200 ASX-listed companies, with offices across six countries. We create solutions that transform business and make life simple for our customers. We do this by providing powerful, deeply integrated enterprise software that is incredibly easy to use. Over 1,000 leading corporations, government departments and statutory authorities are powered by our software.

We participate in only eight key markets: government, local government, financial services, education, health and community services, asset intensive industries, project intensive industries and corporates. For these markets we develop, market, sell, implement, support and run our preconfigured solutions, which reduce time, cost and risk for our customers.

For 29 years, we have been providing our customers enterprise software that evolves and adapts to new and emerging technologies, allowing them to focus on their business and not technology. Today, our software is available on the TechnologyOne Cloud and across smart mobile devices.

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