Worldwide, policy makers and stakeholders alike are tasked with shaping change of societies. Whether setting goals for growth, identifying timelines, or allocating budgets, there is a constant need for intelligence to make smart decisions.
Living in the age of technology and globalisation has its advantages for decision-makers. They can draw inspiration from examples, deep-dive into business and technical know-how, learn from others’ successes and mistakes; yet they suffer from the anomaly that is data deluge. Statistics for analysis are often derived painstakingly from hordes of data, making it challenging to extract intelligence dynamically and conveniently.
Dependence on Location Intelligence
Location intelligence has become an integral part of our world. Everyone – from large organisations, smaller businesses, and citizens – use location on a daily basis. Picture this – you have to get from point A to point B. Would you stop and ask passers-by on how to get there, or simply use the apps on your phone to show fastest routes, travel time, and transportation options?
In the ever-changing and complex world, organisations must have their environments well “mapped” to extract intelligence in the most meaningful and optimal manner.
Fusing Statistics, Business- and Location Intelligence in the Netherlands
Almost all processes within government agencies in the Netherlands deal with location. It is therefore imperative to connect location with databases and information. However, simply pooling data is not as powerful unless combined with information that can be projected dynamically, helping stakeholders to get answers.
Most social and economic reports at government agencies are prepared annually and made available in the form of booklets or digitally as .PDF files. These reports are detailed and show statistics in the form of charts and graphs. However, none of the information is current, it is all a depiction of ‘what was’ rather than ‘what is’ or ‘what will be’.
Also missing in the reports is historical data that if coupled with current data helps discover trends, adding location intelligence to the equation builds interrelationships and analysis to plan, project and monitor. Fused together, statistics, business- and location intelligence can turn into a powerful tool to determine if policies and strategies have proven/will prove effective or not. Static report offers no dynamic correlation between the data and intelligence.
Let’s consider the case of commercial real-estate in the Netherlands. Whether located at city centres or special industrial zones, occupancy rates are associated with social and economic situations. Data from commercial real-estate is often summarised in figures and tables that run into hundreds of pages; making it difficult to draw trend analysis. What ails dead units in the heartland, while units in the chilly north thrive? Or why are centres not as much in demand as zones in the country? The questions can be numerous, but the answers are somewhere in the hordes of data. You just have to look for it using the right tools.
So what’s the solution? Firm believers in the ‘less is more’ philosophy, we prefer simple solutions for a complex problem. Imagine a knowledge application – in form of a dashboard – quickly and intuitively merging location and statistics, backed by real-time data, and available in the form of a simple app.
Now use this dashboard in the example of commercial real-estate. There is a map – dynamic, real-time, interactive. Overlay this will historical- and current data, statistics and relevant information (such as policies). Using this dashboard, anyone from a policy maker to an alderman or a stakeholder can gain insight into the number real-estates, related or interested companies/organisations, vacancy rate, surface and contained area, number of staff, and so on.
By combining location and statistics, stakeholders are exposed to a world of accurate monitoring of policies and their impact, effective management and analysis of assets, and ultimately improved communications of intelligence.
These benefits result in more efficient and effective operations because both knowledge and true information can be communicated in an innovative way. The time between the perception and the action to be taken is shorter by faster and better substantiated insight. Using the location as a unifying factor makes it possible to combine all sorts of data and to visualize, investigate the links and get immediate feedback.
Bridging the Gap between Making Smart Decisions and Taking Action
Smart decisions rely on interoperability between technology, processes and people. Imagem’s solutions – based on Hexagon Smart M.App technology – provide users in the Netherlands with dynamic, interactive spatial dashboards that quickly and efficiently source information.
The solution comprises of cloud-based applications (Smart M.Apps) that fuse geospatial content with workflows to deliver interactive experiences. The end-user can operate the app to see maps and an engaging dashboard of insightful analytics.
The visually communicative dashboards are relevant to user at all levels in the hierarchy – from policy predicting long-term impact of measures, to decision makers setting budgets, technical managers analysing patterns, and field-workers collecting data. Correlating locating with statistics and business intelligence on these dashboards has significantly shortened the time between making decisions and taking action.
The Municipality of Tynaarlo in the Netherlands uses the dashboard to monitor quality of roads in their jurisdiction. The municipality uses the solution to correlate road information such as location, building materials (asphalt, concrete, and pavement) and usage with budget and policies, using actual data as of last ten years.
Connecting the dots
These dashboard solutions are not limited to real-estate or road-quality. Within the Netherlands, Imagem is constantly developing solutions for various facets of the government to monitor effectiveness of policy for example regarding roads, health care, water infrastructure, green spaces, urban heat stress, electricity and more.
Using smart technology and visual solutions are paving the way for communicating information in the Netherlands. “Within a short time we have transformed problems faced by decision makers into something tangible. And that’s exactly how smart cities work – start small, and connect the dots. After all, it’s about communicating intelligence effectively and efficiently.”
Call Outs and Quotes
- Stakeholders are working daily with policies based on new insights. This requires constant access to up-to-date information from a plurality of active data sources.
- Data today is connected by means of location. A knowledge dashboard with location intelligence showing real-time KPIs is required implementing policies through operations; and measure performance.
- This hybrid solution that connects business and technical data while projecting information to be used by any user in the ecosystem – from an alderman to a field-inspector.
- Smart decisions require good interplay between technology, processes and people.
- A city is made of people. Communicating information intelligently is imperative for a city to thrive and grow. – Wouter Brokx, CEO at Imagem
- It is not the strongest of the species that survives but the most adaptable – Charles Darwin
Yashita Arora, marketing consultant for Imagem, responsible for strategizing, development, execution, measurement, and reporting of customer-facing demand-generation programs that support sales goals. Prior to this position, she was regional marketing manager for Asia-Pacific at Hexagon Geospatial. She has over nine years of experience in the IT and geospatial industry in areas such as marketing, communications, content development and presales.