This Spotlight on Location Data blog series is brought to you by Esri, a leading provider of software that brings location intelligence to business decisions.

Location data can help solve a variety of business problems by improving facilities management, inventory, maintenance and a host of other functions. But some of the best case studies I listened to at this year’s Esri conference didn’t come from businesses at all.

I sat down with Michelle Ellington, GIS coordinator at the University of Kentucky, to learn more about how the university is using geographic information systems to put location data to work — and how businesses could learn from the university’s example.

A few of her key take-aways:

  • GIS helps consolidate knowledge. Large, venerable institutions often have a lot more location data on hand than they realize. GIS tools can help pull all that data into a single set. Consolidating the data helps verify that it is all accurate and makes it easier to update that data, as well as perform further analysis.
  • Data is the key to efficient facilities usage. The university plots student registration information on a map, allowing the school to easily understand which facilities are being used by students at which times, to ensure scheduling is being done efficiently. The same system tracks the age of buildings, helping the university schedule maintenance in a timely manner.
  • Bad data can be a gateway to information sharing. Getting experts to open up and share the facilities data locked away in their brains can be tricky — particularly when someone doesn’t realize how much valuable information they have. Ellington explained that she was able to get workers at the university to open up by sharing bad data sets with them. Once they were shown inaccurate information that had been compiled, they were only too eager to correct it, she notes.

Watch the full video interview after the jump:

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3 Responses to “How GIS can lead to better facilities management”

  1. Lisa says:

    You are right on target with your comments. Accessible information can greatly improve workflow of people and assets. I found a great online product http://www.mappgarden.com that can create an online data base of nearly any information and then display it graphically for the users.

  2. [...] For someone who is not familiar with the term, it can be confusing as to what exactly is meant by &#…es management” can refer to a wide range of services, making the issue all the more confusing. In this context the aforementioned facilities are buildings – usually office buildings – owned and used by other companies, and management can refer to the management of any service required for the continued running of the facility. For example, a telemarketing company may own an office building, which they use as a call centre. The running of the call centre is not part of facilities management, but things such as management of the building’s power consumption, its fire alarms, elevators and air conditioning all fall under the umbrella of facilities management. [...]

  3. that's a great article thank you

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