As the battle to derive more value from information technology advances, new innovation and opportunity has risen in what is now called location intelligence. Organizations that seek to focus on improving margins and competitive positions in their retail sites or operations are finding they must look beyond the advantage they're realizing from information technology initiatives. Fully marshalling your weaponry today requires exploring the advantage conveyed by location and geographic context, which can help you understand current performance and improve it in the future. Ventana Research recommends that organizations explore, from both business and technology perspectives, the integration of knowledge about location into their operational business processes, with the goal of determining how it can help improve performance and business results.

Information technology is evolving faster than most organizations can innovate in business. This disjunction provides opportunities for organizations seeking to gain competitive advantage. As business looks to leverage information assets, the contexts in which they place it should include location and geography.

Applying a location context to business intelligence (BI) or business-driven performance management initiatives can help parts of every organization. For example, making your sales organization or retail locations more competitive requires intelligent use of location information, as does influencing customers through advertising or direct mail. Answering the "where" questions - where are my most profitable customers, where are my competitors located and advertising, where are my retail locations performing best - is a fundamental need.

Location intelligence can enhance the business and technology focus of BI. It is the integration and use of location-related content and context to provide more meaningful information on which businesses and their customers can take action or make decisions. Operations management and IT should collaborate to build a program that can take advantage of location intelligence to improve performance.

Location intelligence can help organizations find innovation and improvement to business processes and operational performance. Applications and information technology tools now are available to deliver an array of new capabilities in content searching, geographic pinpointing and providing specific locational context for business and consumers. Ventana Research recommends that organizations determine how they can stay competitive and innovate through leveraging the context of location. This program and focus can help organizations improve not just operational performance but the sharpness of the competitive edge required to advance their market position.

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