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19 Nov Managing Big Data: How Google Maps can help

Big data is not a new concept, but has started to rise on the agenda for many smart business leaders over the past five years. The big questions being asked are ‘what is big data?’ and ‘how do I manage it?”

First of all, if you take away the word ‘big’, then data on it’s own really doesn’t seem so scary. Organisations have been managing data for years to make strategic decisions about sales planning, human resources and financial budgets, so why does the word ‘big’ insight fear deep into the veins of so many business leaders? Big data provokes the thought of something that is excessive and unmanageable, however big data can be hugely valuable to organisations when used in the right way. Gartner attribute the terms volume, velocity and variety to big data, which focus on the meaning being driven around the amount of data, speed of its delivery and variety of its content. Big data has seen a rise in recent years due to a digitally disruptive world, where people are constantly sharing personal information on the internet and patterns about their user behaviour, which is all measurable data and provides key insights for organisations and establishments. The key for organisations is to find a way to tap into this vast amount of data, and to use it in actionable, manageable ways. 

Big Data

Image credit: Google


One simple and easy way to visualise big data to aid business decisions is on a map. Many smart business leaders are now seeing the value in tools such as Google Maps Engine to overlay geographic business data onto a map, creating layers which can be used for analysis and discovery to make better, more informed decisions.

Google Maps Engine is a cloud-based mapping platform which provides business leaders with a tool where raw data can be imported in a number of formats and placed onto a Google Map. Many organisations are seeing the value of using Google Maps as part of their service offering for both internal and external communications, because of its simplicity, familiarity and multi-device functionality.

The Google Maps Engine platform is easy to use, and is suitable for users across a number of disciplines such as operations, marketing, sales or finance, to name a few. Data is uploaded and divided into layers, before being displayed onto a Google Map, where key trends and insights will begin to appear.

Google Maps Engine setup

Polygons mark out specific areas of interest, and you can choose to edit the base map for a change of perspective, such as satellite view or simplified colours. Google Maps Engine Create

Your maps can be shared with various stakeholders, including board members, colleagues and customers, and can be published to the internet for use on a website or intranet. Use Google Maps Engine to present findings to clients, aid planning meetings or include in annual reports. Once you start using Google Maps to present your business data, you will be empowered by the new insights you will discover, and the ability to harness your big data.

To start using Google Maps Engine, just contact AppsCare on +44 (0) 113 366 2008 or email and a member of our team can help you to get started, or give you any further information you need.

Don’t forget to check out our Google Maps Coordinate blog post about utilising the ability to monitor your mobile workforce.

Claire Stead
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