“I have observations too…” CO’s Quick Takes on Esri UC ‘11
If you haven’t yet, check out Dave’s Trilogy of Observations on the 2011 Esri User Conference (#2, #3). This was my fourth year attending, and it still astounds me to be surrounded by 15,000 attendees that live and breath GIS.
Here are some quick hitters on things I saw, heard, and discussed:
“Maps are the language”
I’ve heard this message consistently from Esri at the last couple of events. I’ve heard it said in meetings as well as on UC Main Stage by Mr. Dangermond himself. What this statement is meant to convey is maps are the medium by which information comes alive. Spatial presentation of data can impart incredible insight and user impact. Heck, check out our demos before you disagree. ;-)
This is also a very interesting statement in the context of the intersection point between BI and GIS systems. There is an implicit understanding of the value of the “language of maps” in the BI community - largely without knowledge about GIS solutions. As a result, we have seen significant activity with Cognos BI groups seeking to integrate consumer mapping solutions.
“BI is the route to mainstream”
During the Esri Business Summit, there was a very good panel discussion on the use GIS in business, with representatives from Starbucks, MacKenzie Commercial Real Estate Services LLC, and Edward Jones. In responding to an audience question about the value and impact of the GIS capabilities provided to their organizations, the representative from Starbucks stated that they were providing a great service to one group in Starbucks. Their objective was to have the BI department adopt their work and take it broadly throughout the organization. I was spinning in my seat looking to see if others had heard the same thing I had – I’m pretty sure I remember hearing the words, “take GIS mainstream”. I like that idea a lot!
All in all, another great event. Thanks Esri!