Friday 4 July 2014

New Website Coming Soon!

We are very excited to say that we are currently building our new (and first) website.  Whew, at last!!  Official launch of our new site is set for 1st August 2014.  The new site will then replace this ol' blog.  As our first ever blog or internet presence, this site will be remembered fondly, it taught us a lot and certainly served its purpose which was to claim our piece of cyber space, and announce "We are here!" while we went about the process of channeling our energies into shaping and defining Spatial Insights as an entity.

This little company has sailed the high seas over the past year, we have seen many changes, some minor and others major!  Spatial Insights is a very different entity today than how we started out, and it was those founding energies that have brought us to where we are today and I for one, am grateful for that!

Our new url will be published here as soon as the site has been finalised, so keep a look out..

Sunday 19 May 2013

Bespoke web-based GIS solutions damage the GIS industry

Unscrupulous slick sales people are doing damage to the GIS industry.  By selling quick fix smart phone apps claiming GIS capabilities, with no statistically verifiable data, in fact, with no spatial data whatsoever.  These charlatans are providing grossly averaged out findings that claim to be micro geographic.  On closer scrutiny, none of the data is geocoded or micro-geographic.  Neither is the digital marketing database that the said micro-geographic findings entice advertisers to purchase.   

Therefore a retailer looking for location based demographic data relating to their catchment area, are receiving non-geographic averages, and in purchasing “micro-geographic” customer database marketing, ie sms marketing to the consumers living within the vicinity of the store, are actually receiving a database of consumers within the broader geographic area, and can therefore expect little return on their investment, as this spend is not going to bring about a call to action to consumers living 5-20kms from a store, as opposed to a very real call to action that would be created if the consumers did live within 1-3kms of the location as claimed, given a real value proposition.

The advertiser purchasing this campaign may have little knowledge of the capabilities of a true Geographic Information System nor the power of truly geographic data, and micro-geographic marketing.  Then again, the sales people of this product, too, have as little knowledge.  And as there are few real measures of broad digital media effectiveness, it’s difficult to quantify the lack of response to such campaigns.  

 The uninformed advertiser assumes GIS and Location Intelligence cannot provide the solution to getting more bang for their buck.  Do not be mislead and misinformed.  Contact Spatial Insights as we can, in fact, accurately and scientifically profile micro-geographic catchment areas, as well as measure customer response, and target advertising and marketing messages through efficient media channels within the prescribed geographic catchments areas.

Monday 6 May 2013

The Power of MapInfo Professional

Spatial Insights are proud to be associated with the ST Group ( The ST Group is a solutions company, focused on the delivery of location based business intelligence value to their clients. The company's technology harnesses the power of location and mobility to deliver a competitive advantage to their clients in the shortest time and as cost effectively as possible by using world class software and technology.

Through this partnership, we present MapInfo Professional.

MapInfo Professional is a powerful Microsoft® Windows®-based mapping and geographic analysis application from the experts in location intelligence, Pitney-Bowes.  Designed to easily visualise the relationships between data and geography, MapInfo Professional helps business analysts, planners, and GIS professionals - even non-GIS users - gain new insights into their markets, share information-rich maps and graphs and improve strategic decision-making.

See your business data in a bold new way with MapInfo Professional, a powerful mapping and geographic analysis application providing geospatial data solutions. MapInfo Professional helps you present your business findings in a new, more visual way. It clearly demonstrates the relationship between geography and data, thanks to its detailed maps and graphics.

The sophisticated functions provided by MapInfo Professional allow clients, colleagues and business partners to:

·         Better absorb information
·         Gain new insights into hidden trends
·         Have a better basis for strategic decision-making

The Spatial Insights team have over 15 years’ experience in the practical use of the MapInfo Professional platform.  This experience was gained in the application of location intelligence at operational, tactical as well as strategic levels.

Making a decision to deploy a location intelligence platform such as MapInfo Professional is often neglected or delayed due to lack of expertise or exposure in this domain. Numerous options are available in the marketplace and this complicates the decision making process.

 Neglecting to opt for the use of a product such as MapInfo Professional could lead to missed insights as well as opportunities to optimise operational and financial performance within your organisation

We are interested in your organisation and how location intelligence can be deployed to free hidden insights from your data. Please connect with us at to set up a product demonstration and discuss your future location intelligence needs.

Sunday 28 April 2013

A New Perspective

A recent PwC report on the insurance industry has me thinking. The report outlines how Big Data and smart analytics can be used to generate business insights. More specifically, insights which lead to scenarios enabling the development of solutions which generate value.
Gone are the days when businesses thrive by developing products, push these into markets and simply return results. Increasing levels of customisation mean that businesses need to tap into this customer / user trend and deliver meaningful value.

The volume of data being generated by customers and business processes is growing exponentially, this is valuable data which contains useful insights. Michael Porter outlined in his seminal work Competitive Advantage that primary advantage is gained from either cost or product differentiation.
What if we added data insight as a third factor?

This means that seemingly meaningless data is mined and the findings built into the business process. In common practice this means looking at data in unusual ways, using tools not commonly brought into strategic discussions. One such tool is Geospatial Technology.

Geospatial aka “mapping” platforms provide the strategist the opportunity to view data in new ways. The ability to overlay data such as traffic flow, demographic information, disposable income levels, etc, opens a window to generate insights previously invisible. Data which has or shows potential to have a geospatial element can be viewed and manipulated using a geospatial modelling platform such as MapInfo Professional.

The team at Spatial Insights are able to scope any data available which has been generated by value producing processes and assess potential for real insight opportunities. If you have good data, we’ll model it and generate insights. By good data, we mean any data which possesses geospatial or geographic elements.

If you think there is something missing in your decision making and you need a new perspective, give the Spatial Insights team a call.

Monday 22 April 2013

The Art of Geocoding

At Spatial Insights we talk a lot about data, and the accuracy of data.  And the sources of data.  And of course, the accuracy of the sources of data.  The lower the integrity of the data, the higher the margin of error, and the lower the chances that any insights derived are valid and authentic.

The chosen method of data collection is a critical tool in the armoury of good data quality.  And the data collected, specifically the written description of the physical street address, which more often than not is captured by employees with lower literacy levels, forms the basis of any Spatial Analysis. 

In order to gain any geographical insight, data needs to be geocoded.  This places each record’s location on the map as per the physical street address of the record, in the form of latitude and longitude. 

Remember, garbage in, garbage out.

Mapmarker, a stand alone geocoding tool, automates the geocoding process, and an accuracy hit rate is generated, which provides confidence levels of data accuracy.

Sunday 7 April 2013

Data Visualisation Solutions

Approximately 85% of all databases have a geographic element.  Geocoding is the process of assigning latitude and longitude (x;y coordinates) to individual records of a database.  Through this process is geo-spatial analysis enabled.
A geo-coded database can be analysed within the electronic geo-spatial environment against other relevant sources of information based on its geography.

Geographic areas can be defined and profiled within a GIS (Geographic Information System) in terms of the area’s demographic breakdown ie age, race, gender, education levels, occupation, or lifestyle of consumers in order to provide marketers with insights into catchment areas.

Retail / Commercial Feasibility
When identifying potential new markets, the optimal location will deliver success.  Maximise profitability by understanding potential market size, disposable income levels, geodemographic profile of potential business location, and location of competitors.

Product Development
Analyze trends and purchasing activity within markets in order to provide predictive analytics within differing market profiles.

Distribution & Logistics
Optimise your distribution strategy within the geo-spatial environment.  Geographic information enables logistic optimisation, and DriveTimeZa provides the technology to maximise efficiencies of time and distance to maximise cost efficiencies.  The spatial environment also provides geographic parameters for routing in terms of distribution vehicles utilised, distribution loads, size and quantity of product, required delivery turn around etc.

Advertising & Marketing Geographics
With in excess of 15 years experience in Geographic Media Analytics, Spatial Insights is poised to enable you to answer the up-until-now unanswerable: “ Í know half of my advertising budget is working, i just don’t know which half”
Geographic marketing is critical to defining and reaching segmented target markets for geographically based products or services.

Media Analytics
Once you know where your consumers are, then you will know how best to communicate to them.  Media spend can be analysed against market potential, and effective reach of target market.  Accurate and realistic ROI levels can be at the planning stage or post-campaign.