Data Analysis: Maps are Superior to Spreadsheets
WebGIS Stands Out Against Common Analysis Tools
WebGIS users know that they can display data on maps much faster and better than in spreadsheets. One study wanted to empirically prove the effect and found that compared to spreadsheets, maps bring 59% time savings and 40% fewer errors in decision making. You too can take advantage of this simple fact!
Map or Spreadsheet? – Map, Please!
In case of doubt, almost always the map. Because nearly 80% of all company data has a spatial reference. WebGIS makes it possible. See for yourself!
Study Shows What Users Have Known for a Long Time
Smelcer and Carmel* compared the use of maps and spreadsheets with business problem solving shortly before the turn of the millennium. Because the development of GIS systems opened up new possibilities for the visualization of data, they wanted to prove and quantify the practical experience that shows it is much easier and quicker to capture relationships on maps than in spreadsheets.
“‘Now I understand!’ Even 20 years later, we often hear the awe of our customers when they see their company data displayed clearly on a map for the first time,” says Wolf Graf, Managing Director of WIGeoGIS.
The results of the study were nevertheless surprising in magnitude and clarity: When solving problems with spatial reference**, the subjects using maps
★ made decisions 59% faster
★ and made 40% fewer mistakes
than when using spreadsheets.
This is all the more remarkable when you realize that almost 80% of all company data contains spatial references (addresses, sales regions, tours, etc.). With WebGIS, the software for the spatial visualization of data, you can thus perform numerous, analyses for a wide variety of topics such as location planning, sales, target group und marketing, market penetration, potential exploitation, performance and much more.
The explanation of why we can read maps so much better than spreadsheets is quite simple, and, although sufficiently researched, requires little scientific proof: The eye is the most important sensory organ and we take in over 80% of all information via our sense of sight. And although we also take in writing with our eyes, the brain processes images 60,000 times faster than texts. Writing must first be decoded and this not only takes time, it is also exhausting.
*John B. Smelcer, Erran Carmel: The Effectiveness of Different Representations for Managerial Problem Solving: Comparing Tables and Maps, American University Washington DC, 1997 Read the study here
**The tasks were: combine regions into a sales area, select a branch location, optimize a route.
Do you still have questions about the display of your data on digital maps?
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