The advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution has beckoned the advancement of IoT, generating unprecedented quantities of real-time, streaming data. What initially presents as an overwhelming amount of data transforms into a rich resource when tapped into correctly. With immense amounts of data comes the responsibility of analyzing it to drive informed decisions.
But how does one best tap into this valuable resource? Using geospatial visualization, organizations can build dashboards and applications to glean actionable insights from this precious data, improve understanding of it and ultimately make better decisions. Let’s uncover five major ways in which geospatial visualization benefits organizations.
Greater ability to build geospatial applications and dashboards
Large amounts of data streaming in real time can be difficult to digest when viewed through a narrow, numbers-focused lens. Luckily, geospatial visualization enables the creation of dashboards and applications that render this data comprehensible and actionable.
For example, geospatial visualization supports the creation of smart city dashboards that enable residents to view all of their city’s vital data in one spot. The City Dashboard of London, for instance, is host to weather information, real-time transport updates, top news headlines and even the average level of happiness among Londoners. The dashboard pulls all of the most relevant information into one convenient location, enabling viewers to determine whether to wear a jacket when they leave the house and how late their train will be in a single sitting.
Enables better decision making
Business decisions are educated guesses at best without data to back them up. Dashboards enabled by geospatial visualization provide helpful insights that grant even the least data-savvy individual the ability to make more informed decisions.
When it comes to disaster recovery, data helps inform critical decisions in life or death situations. Geospatial visualization helps disaster management agencies quickly determine areas at risk of natural disasters, the possibility of a natural disaster striking at a given time and potential damage. These insights enable disaster management agencies to prepare for a disaster or help recovery efforts.
Improves understanding and relevance
Perhaps one of the most relevant examples of a dashboard enabled by geospatial data today is the COVID-19 dashboard by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. This dashboard is widely referenced because it displays relevant information and is simple to understand. A viewer can easily pick out key figures by looking at the dashboard, such as how many confirmed cases exist in a given country, state or county. The average person is better able to grasp this complex issue when the data is accessible, which dashboards make it so. If data analysts are storytellers, dashboards offer an illustrative and accurate story.
Provides visible indicators of abnormalities
Geospatial visualization enables organizations to better address issues by displaying data in a way that makes it easy to identify abnormalities. The utilities industry relies heavily on geospatial visualization to identify network outages in a system that is predominantly underground and otherwise invisible.
Utility data is largely tied to geographic location, and those managing utilities systems must know where their facilities lie to analyze, optimize and maintain networks. Enhanced visualization enables those who maintain these crucial systems to minimize the duration of an outage by swiftly determining its location. Companies reduce costs and risks associated with long-term outages when able to quickly deploy service teams to make reparations.
Increases operational efficiency
Overall, geospatial visualization gives organizations the tools needed to increase operational efficiency, positively impacting their bottom line. For example, the transportation industry relies on geospatial visualization to enable on-time delivery. The United States Postal Service (USPS) optimizes routes for its vast fleet of trucks using geospatial data from thousands of IoT devices.
This data is used to track where delivery vehicles are on their route and help the USPS to choose the best possible route for drivers for the fastest possible delivery time. These data-enabled efficiencies ultimately impact the USPS’s bottom line. Thousands of hours that may otherwise be spent taking less efficient routes are cut and customer satisfaction rises as deliveries are completed on time.
The millions of signals and data points emitted from IoT devices and systems today hold the clues leaders need to inform the most efficient, accurate and cost-effective decisions possible. This data is often underexploited, providing a unique opportunity for those that take advantage of it. Harnessing the power of geospatial data enables businesses to unlock a wealth of insights to inform decisions that put them ahead of the curve.
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