Gis in Indian Retail Industry

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Date Submitted: 10/03/2011 04:29 PM

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1. Introduction

One of the most important constituent of effective decision making is relevant information. Management must recognize

the value of information as a vital resource to the organization and, indeed, to some extent management has already

become an information-processing function (Christopher et al., 1980). Hess et al. (2004) in their review of the potential of

GIS as part of a marketing information system examined how the analytical and data integration strengths of GIS can be

used in internal reports, marketing intelligence systems, marketing decision support analysis and marketing research, with

the overall aim of further understanding customer behavior. In today’s dynamic and highly competitive retail environment,

the importance of pertinent information cannot be overemphasized.

Geographic information systems (GIS) constitute a powerful new technology that can address many of the information

needs of decision makers. GIS are becoming more prevalent in both day-to-day and strategic decision-making by retailers

(Nasirin, 2003). GIS is giving retail analysts the ability to quantify spatial attributes, and to add these into the analytical

mix alongside more traditional measures such as sales area and turnover (Goodwyn, 1998). Today, Environmental System

Research Institute (ESRI) has adapted GIS to show where projected growth can and can’t occur. ESRI uses aerial

photographs combined with GIS technology to map geographic features. Finally, retail real estate professionals have

access to technology capable of modeling demographics into comparisons of sales potentials among different locations

(Fickes, 2006). Geographic Information Systems (GIS) allows decision makers to leverage their spatial data more

efficiently, by visually bringing together relationships between customers, suppliers, and competitors (Mennecke, 2007).

GIS vary in terms of their scope and sophistication but GIS are a powerful technology in terms of data storage, analysis...