Redlands, US, March 6 — Esri is an industry leader in geographic data analytics. Right now, with Microsoft, it is doing what no other company has attempted in a very long time. Actually, the initial announcement in September 2016, about their partnership with Microsoft came as a surprise for many commentators. With their collaboration, Esri has taken visualization and location analytics to a whole different level.
Geodata in Microsoft Office
By integrating geo-analytics into Microsoft Office documents, Microsoft is taking a bold step. The introduction of this feature especially in Excel spreadsheets is a timely solution for what has been a headache for many organizations. Piles and piles of previously unstructured data can now be interpreted without straining your eyes. This benefits can be achieved because of the ArcGIS mapping technology from Esri and what it can offer to researchers and analysts. As a matter of fact, ArcGIS, the geo-analytic tool, can also collect customer location data, identify patterns and then categorize them depending on the organization’s business demands.
Esri’s ArcGIS platform will make it possible for strategists and decision makers to learn more about customer demographic distribution and other parameters such as earnings and spending behaviors. This kind of private data was, of course, inaccessible but critically pivotal before and many businesses went through the painstaking process of making business decisions without hindsight. It has been cataloged before that some decisions were even based on mere assumptions before Microsoft and Esri came in as an analytic platform.
Business intelligence with a twist
For businesses to get access to these crucial data, Esri’s deal with Microsoft necessitated ArcGIS to be compatible with Microsoft’s business intelligence platform. Microsoft Power BI is a business analytic tool with more than five million subscribers so far.
The advantage is that Power BI analytics isn’t restricted to an on-premise environment only. This is so because Power BI can quickly and securely access ArcGIS database containing US demographics information, heatmaps, and the organization’s data. Users can create customized dashboards and access other toolkits which enables cross-filtering, data selection, creation quick interactive maps and reporting. All this is done via a Microsoft cloud service. The collaboration and user-friendliness are what lays the foundation for Power BI to be a value adding business analysis tool soon.
“Esri and Microsoft’s collaboration to integrate ArcGIS and Microsoft Power BI is a huge step forward in the BI space,” said Chan Lee, strategy and analytics, Chick-fil-A, Inc. “It will give retailers the ability to leverage a robust set of analytical and geo-enabled visualization tools that we’ve not seen from any other solution available. Now that the ArcGIS Maps for Power BI preview has been announced it is definitely something that we’d like to evaluate for the future.”
YouTube: Analyzing and Visualizing Data with Power BI
Photo credit: Esri / Microsoft / Esri Nederland
Source: David Kaplan (GeoMarketing) / Karen Richardson (Esri) / Kit McDonald (On MSFT)
Editorial notice: The quotes were provided as part of a public press release.
Dalmas Ngetich is a technology news contributor at TechAcute. He holds a B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from JKUAT, Kenya. Nothing ticks him more than innovation that shapes status quo.