New Esri Mapping and Visualisation Tools Change the Business Analytics Game

Esri UK has launched an innovative new series of location analytics applications that are set to revolutionise today’s BI landscape.

The tools enable businesses to visualise business information from multiple sources in single map format rather than as charts, tables, or spreadsheets.  As a result, business consumers can now gain new insight from their data, make more accurate and timely decisions and achieve better business outcomes.

According to Peter Krensky, senior research associate, business intelligence, Aberdeen Group: “Location Analytics represents the latest stage in the evolution of data visualisation. Integrating static and geo-spatial data into a dynamic map establishes a viewpoint for analysis. And when integrated with BI, [as in Esri’s new solutions], complex information drawn from multiple sources can be incorporated into an easy-to-understand view that drives better decision-making.”

“Organisations looking for business advantage are embracing the edge that data visualisation can give them by using mapping to analyse data and to discover answers to complex business issues,” says Sharon Grufferty, head of SaaS product management, Esri UK.

The drive to visualisation is accelerating and, running alongside this, businesses are migrating from the traditional 2D approach to GIS data to a 3D mapping environment, capable of supporting spatial analysis. The launch of Esri’s new location analytics applications capitalises on this, helping businesses take BI to the next level and keep themselves one step ahead of the competition.

“Imagine trying to select the best site for a retail store by looking at row after row of data represented as a graph or chart,” continues Grufferty.  “It’s all but impossible to make the right decision. However, representing the same data on a map allows you to immediately see where demand for your products is likely to be highest or where the competition is strongest, for example. The new Esri solutions deliver this capability; are specifically designed to be easy to use and can effectively be set up ‘out of the box’.”

Esri already has several active users of its Maps for BI product family. In the UK, Esri partner Assimil8 has helped deliver a GIS application for the Energy Saving Trust that provides comprehensive data about the energy efficiency of 27 million unique UK homes.  Developed using Esri Maps for IBM Cognos, the Home Analytics application helps both public and private sector organisations identify those properties and households that are suitable for specific energy saving measures.

In addition to making the new apps available to end users, Esri is also building strategic relationships with solutions vendors such as MicroStrategy and SAP, who are embedding Esri’s location analytics capability into their own solutions.   

The new Esri Maps for BI product family includes apps to support out-of-the-box integration for IBM Cognos, MicroStrategy and SAP BusinessObjects. Esri Maps for BI apps are deployed with the global-leading ArcGIS Platform using either ArcGIS Online (SaaS deployment model) or Portal for ArcGIS (on premise deployment model).

The new apps have been built ‘from the ground up’ as zero-coding solutions, enabling dashboard and report authors to leverage in-place resources at a fraction of the time and cost needed for manual, “roll your own”, integration. The tools enable customers to self-serve and access ready to use data quickly and easily without the need for additional configuration.

With the Esri Maps for IBM Cognos app, authors can easily insert dynamic maps into IBM Cognos reports, allowing report consumers to analyse data visually. Also, both Esri Maps for MicroStrategy and Esri Maps for SAP BusinessObjects allow users to enhance documents and dashboards with live interactive maps for easier data analysis.

The capability of these apps is supported by the new Esri Maps for Office solution which allows users to gain enhanced insight by uncovering patterns and trends not evident in tabular data and charts. Esri Maps for Office further drives productivity by enabling maps to be shared immediately through PowerPoint presentations or by one-click publishing to Esri’s mapping platform, ArcGIS Online. Esri Maps for Office can be used in conjunction with Esri’s other business intelligence solutions as part of a comprehensive location analytics based approach.  

To read Krensky’s full white paper, entitled “Location Analytics: Putting the Evolution of BI on the Map”, please visit