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Business intelligence visualizes information on the map


Business intelligence visualizes information on the map

In our age determined by technological progress, companies are getting better and better at collecting comprehensive data material about their customers and using it profitably, according to Altran CIS in a press release on October 2nd. The floods of data are meanwhile being converted into extensive knowledge through systematic data processing. The well-known catchphrase for describing the intelligent compression of corporate data into corporate knowledge is Business Intelligence (BI).

By consolidating market, company and customer data, patterns and structures about customers can be extracted within the framework of BI and profiles can be created based on them. For example, telecommunications companies can determine which campaigns are most promising for which customer profile. Insurance companies are able to use the so-called customer value to calculate the potential of each customer and, accordingly, to bind valuable customers with particularly good service and attractive products. On the other hand, it is possible for banks, for example, to identify those who terminate before they write the letter of termination and to counteract them with appropriate measures. These are just a few examples of three branches that are involved in a retreat.

The majority of companies have now recognized the power conferred by a functioning BI and processes millions of data into profitable knowledge every day. However, a valuable component is not taken into account in classic BI. The space! Where are the customers who are to be addressed via campaigns, who will be valuable in the future or who have to be discouraged from quitting? This is the question that the geomarketing discipline deals with.

Due to technological progress, the development from a seller’s to a buyer’s market and the so-called “quantitative revolution” of geography in the 1960s and 1970s, the role of geomarketing has been increasing for years. Geomarketing analyzes current and potential markets according to spatial structures and extracts the specific target group information that exists for these structures. The specialty uses the spatial reference of market and company data, for example, to plan the sale of products to target groups more effectively and to be able to control them in a measurable way. In order to recognize these spatial relationships and anomalies, the company’s own and external data are consolidated, analyzed and visualized with the support of geographic information systems (GIS) and digital maps.

Geomarketing is based on the spatial principle, according to which the market is spatially differentiated (spatial heterogeneity). The house is the smallest unit and can be blended into postcodes across street sections, residential quarters and districts. On the basis of around 22 million households in Germany, geomarketing also works according to the cluster principle, which is based on spatial segmentation and according to the neighborhood principle “Equal and equals like to join,” says Christin Koch, consultant at Altran in the field of analytical CRM.

Then “similar” people move into neighborhoods while “dissimilar” people move away. The similarity between the neighborhoods increases as the distance between the neighborhoods decreases (distance principle). In order to better represent spatial relationships for people, geomarketing also uses the visualization principle, according to which a picture says more than 1000 words. By mapping the geomarketing results on maps, people are able to recognize the most important statements at first glance and, based on this, to make correct, strategic decisions.

Basically every company engages in geomarketing, whether consciously or unconsciously. The four classic areas of marketing (product, price, distribution and communication) are examined by geomarketing on a spatial or geographical basis. This includes questions in the area of ​​product range policy, logistics, the choice of lucrative locations, the selection of affine regions for advertising, appropriate price structures and much more. As a supporting function in all strategic questions of companies, geomarketing affects almost all company areas from management and sales to product development, expansion planning and advertising to purchasing, controlling and CRM.
Due to the abundance of corporate areas with which geomarketing is linked, the fields of application are also very extensive, both within and along individual industries.

Questions that geomarketing can clarify are the following:

Basically, geomarketing supplements the typical questions of the BI of who, what and when with the where and thus offers the spatial expansion of the problems. If geomarketing is carried out using GIS, this is one of the reasons why one speaks of spatial business intelligence (spatial BI). The connection between BI and geospatial data can be easily established since all data warehouses, data marts, operational data stores (ODS), OLAP cubes and all other databases in companies on the basis of which BI is already operated have a large amount of spatial data. This data is contained in the addresses of customers, sales locations, offices and other subjects that are associated with an address. In order to be able to survive successfully in today’s competition, it is important for companies to make use of this existing data via known BI processes and to base future strategic decisions on the extracted knowledge.

In summary, the great potential of geomarketing and spatial BI can be underlined. “First of all, spatial analyzes offer concrete figures and thus planning security for strategic decisions. Both opportunities and risks of projects can also be visualized using maps and options for action can be derived from them. The visual preparation of the results from geomarketing can serve as a uniform, understandable basis for communication between management, sales and marketing. ” Jörg Reinnarth – Senior Manager at Altran CIS.

Geomarketing transforms highly complex structures into informative analyzes and is diverse, detailed and surprisingly simple. The know-how for the implementation of geomarketing is available through the practice of known BI processes in companies and it is only necessary to transfer this experience to spatial issues.


The Altran Group specializes in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Business Intelligence (BI), in particular the conception, implementation and management of IT solutions for CRM and BI.