Monday, June 6, 2011

From Spreadsheet Slave to Location Intelligence Junkie

I just read a fine article by David Tiger on visual financial analysis. As a career financial professional, David recognizes the omnipresence and importance of spreadsheets for financial analysis, and yet it seems there has always been something missing.

When he discovered location intelligence:
Those long, tedious spreadsheets of sales, inventory, and store-level data were suddenly fun to work with. I still spent hours number crunching on spreadsheets, but I was then able to see our internal performance data against demographic data, store data, industry data, and Wal-mart spin data, for example.
"Fun" is a word we non-finance professionals seldom associate with spreadsheets, but we can all appreciate that flash of insight that comes from connecting the dots and understanding a key piece of information.

That's the big benefit of location intelligence: it creates greater speed to insight, because it places the visual context next to the verbal or tabular intelligence. Your verbal left brain and your visual right brain work together to make the insight more immediate. It's a case of "whole-brain" analytics. Location intelligence lets you apply more of your personal mental resources to the task at hand.

David proclaims himself a location intelligence Junkie. No wonder: after years of squeezing significance out of spreadsheets, he's now cruising to insights with location intelligence:
As a small, growing company, we had to allocate our marketing resources carefully and strategically to effectively target our customers. Seeing this data on a map created a whole new level of understanding of market assumptions that accelerated the execution of regional and national strategies.
Here's a case where location intelligence creates both competitive advantage and operational efficiency.