ESRI Maps for Cognos: Location Analytics Strategy For Your Business

As of the 2000’s, the majority of midsize to large companies use analytics as part of their daily operations and competitive strategy. However, the majority of analytical reporting and analysis tools being utilized are still crosstabs and tabular tables. This is a problem because 65% of adults are primarily visual learners and thinkers. If business analytics is about benefiting the bottom line through actionable insight, you are only, at most, utilizing 35% of your organization’s analytical ability to cut costs and recognize opportunity. This is where ESRI Maps could come into play for your business.

I don’t know about you but I’m not quite John Nash from the movie “A Beautiful Mind”. Numbers in tabular tables don’t immediately jump off the page and form obvious trends. Visuals allow the user, at a glance, to quickly see patterns, trends, and correlations.

One of the most powerful visuals a company can use are maps. Geography is relevant to nearly every decision customers and organizations make. At least 80% of your BI data has a location component that relates or correlates to other pieces of your organization’s data. Mapping this geographic data allows you to see those patterns, trends, and pic1correlations that were otherwise not blatantly obvious. Location Analytics is more than knowing where your customers live or what store they purchased from although this is important information. It’s also about customer profiling, minimizing risk, maximizing productivity, taking your analytics program to the next level, and fully utilizing all of your organization’s brain power. For example, an insurance company used ESRI Maps for Cognos, national weather service data, and client geographic data to determine which clients were going to be hit by a major hail storm. They sent the customers in that geographic area a text about the storm and reminded them to put their cars in a garage. This 15 minute analysis saved the company millions of dollars in claims.

Method Busters Location Analytics is not a new cutting-edge concept. Companies using Location Analytics like ESRI Maps are strategically not sharing the fact they are using this technology. Those using location analytics actually love the fact that it is not a wide spread practice, and subsequently use it to crush their competition. Organizations also love the fact that many of their competitors think it’s complicated and expensive. You don’t need a GIS (geographic information system) department.

ESRI Maps for Cognos is a simple integration into Cognos BI and implementing it typically takes 3 to 5 days. You can test drive ESRI Maps now by downloading the ESRI for Office 30 day trial. Then, take your Cognos BI data, dump into Excel, and within hours, have a quick prototype of how location analytics takes your data and decision making power to the next level. Although it’s so much more than analyzing where your customers live, as demonstrated in the previous example, this is where most firms get their feet wet. For the most part, organizations have their customer’s zip codes or even prospect geographic data. That’s all you need to get started. A little bit of geographic data and you are ready to rock.  Where do your big spenders live? Is there a pattern or tend? With this little bit of knowledge, you can now start targeting your marketing dollars and move to the next level of customer profiling.

ESRI Maps for Cognos

You can download the ESRI 30 day trial link at: Please also take a minute to view Lodestar Solution's User Group video with guest Harold Bergeron of GREBIT Solutions by using this link:  He explains how Location Analytics can help you be more effective and efficient.