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Geographic Information Systems: A Decision Support Tool for Business

Drishtikon: A Management Journal

Volume 1 Issue 2

Published: 2010
Author(s) Name: Meenakshi Handa, Anupma Vohra
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Abstract

Geographical Information Systems (GIS) are an extremely useful tool for analysis and decision-making in a wide variety of situations. Geography is important to business, irrespective of the type of industry. Organisations are increasingly becoming aware of the vast amount of locational data already available with them and are exploring how to leverage this. This paper underscores the importance of spatial data and the need for organizations to integrate this into their decision-making. It examines the potential of GIS in business applications and provides an overview of business activities where GIS can be employed as a decision support tool. The various stages of the strategic planning process as well as business operations including market analysis, segmentation, positioning, supply chain operations, pricing, promotions and sales management can benefit from the application of GIS. The major hurdles in the application of GIS as a business tool, especially in the Indian context have to do with the availability, accuracy and currency of spatial data and low familiarity with the potential of GIS. The paper further makes a case for the introduction of GIS education in business school curricula to increase its understanding and adoption by business decision makers. Keywords: Spatial imaging and analysis, Thematic maps, Data visualization, Spatial Decision Support Systems, Location based services

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