orbica logo
Loading...

[ Article ]

Navigating Geospatial Technology Blindspots

Written by Kurt Janssen

30 May 2023

Share this post

A Guide for Non-Technical Leaders in Data-Driven Organisations

Exploring key challenges and strategies for non-technical business leaders to embrace geospatial technology in the digital age.

As a non-technical leader, you may feel like you're venturing into the digital wilderness without a map or compass. Technology is evolving at a dizzying pace, and geospatial technology is no exception. This creates new challenges and blindspots for leaders, who are tasked with steering their organisation through an ever-evolving digital transformation journey.

In this article, we'll delve into four key technology blindspots that non-technical leaders often encounter when dealing with geospatial technology. We’ll unpack how these blindspots can hinder organisational growth and progress and – more importantly – how to overcome them.

The blindspots are:

  • Poor geospatial data governance and metadata management
  • Lack of clear and consistent reporting
  • Not embracing cloud transformation
  • Privacy and security concerns

By understanding these challenges and implementing strategies to mitigate associated risks, non-technical leaders can drive their organisations forward and foster a collaborative, data-driven culture.

Ready? Let’s dive in…

Table of contents:

  • Key Geospatial Technology Blindspots and Solutions

- Data Governance and Metadata

- Clear and consistent reporting

- Cloud technology and collaboration

- Privacy and security concerns

  • Embracing the Digital Transformation Flywheel
  • Conclusion: Mastering the Art of Digital Transformation

Key Geospatial Technology Blindspots and Solutions

• Data Governance and Metadata

Managing geospatial data governance and metadata can be a daunting task. Especially in large organisations with multiple teams and stakeholders. But as a non-technical leader, understanding data sources, lineage, and quality is crucial for making informed decisions. Because if you don’t have a solid understanding of the data or its underlying assumptions, you may face risks like data breaches, inaccuracies, and a lack of trust in your data. This quickly leads to poor decision-making and potential harm to your company's reputation.

That’s where robust data governance comes into play.

If you have the right systems and processes in place, you can make proper data governance part of your organisation’s culture. It simply becomes part of your team’s workflow, and – like a reliable compass – everyone is guided by a single source of truth. But what do these systems and processes look like? And how can the right geospatial technology help you on your data management quest.

The best place to start is by implementing a centralised data repository that ensures everyone is working with the same, accurate information. In its simplest form, this could be a cloud based system coupled with solid documentation procedures. But the more steps are involved, the more subject you are to human error.

That’s why the gold standard is having data governance and metadata management processes baked into your geospatial tools and technologies. A good example here is the Orbica Platform, which gives you centralised control over your organisation-wide governance structures. This ensures that everyone in your team is following the same systems and processes by default, for better data integrity and confident decision-making.

In either case, whether you opt for manual data governance or leverage the right geospatial technology, there are several steps you can follow to ensure best-practice data management:

  1. Set up clear data policies and guidelines, encompassing data quality standards, security protocols, and usage guidance.
  2. Assign specific roles and responsibilities to ensure accountability in data management and oversight.
  3. Create a data catalog to monitor and maintain data assets, including sources, metadata, and lineage.
  4. Conduct regular data audits and assessments to pinpoint potential risks and areas for improvement.
  5. Implement data quality monitoring tools and processes to guarantee accuracy and consistency in your data.
  6. Offer data literacy training to enhance understanding and promote a data-driven culture within your organization.
  7. Continuously evaluate and adjust your data governance policies and practices, keeping them aligned with evolving business needs and changing regulatory requirements.

Once you’ve established best practice data governance and metadata management processes, you’ll have a much easier time navigating the second common geospatial technology blindspot. Namely, a lack of clear and consistent reporting.

• Clear and Consistent Reporting

The second geospatial technology blindspot concerns clear and consistent reporting. Non-technical leaders need reliable, up-to-date, and easily understandable reports to make informed decisions. However, a communication chasm between tech-savvy teams and non-technical leaders or subject matter experts can quickly fog up the decision-making process.

When non-technical leaders find themselves bombarded with jargon-laden reports and assumptions they’re unaware of, making well-informed decisions becomes an uphill battle. Misinterpretation, wavering trust in data, and missed opportunities to capitalise on data-driven decisions are just a few common issues many data-driven organisations face.

To address this blindspot, prioritise transparency and communication within your organisation. Encourage your team to develop reports that are jargon-free and focused on the key metrics that matter to decision-makers. By fostering a culture of clarity and collaboration, you'll equip your decision-makers with the necessary tools to make data-driven decisions confidently.

Which brings us to blindspot no. 3: Not embracing cloud transformation.

• Cloud technology and collaboration

The third geospatial technology blindspot is not fully leveraging cloud-native geospatial technology within your data driven organisation. Cloud computing allows your organisation to store and manage data more efficiently, enabling you to streamline processes and foster collaboration between teams.

However, many non-technical leaders may not fully understand the benefits of cloud-native geospatial technology or how to leverage it effectively. In contrast to other cloud-native tools and technologies – like MarTech or accounting – geospatial technology is often treated as a second class citizen. This can leave even the most onto-it organisations wrestling with outdated tech and constraining licensing structures, leading to analysis bottlenecks and propagating data siloes.

To overcome this blindspot, make sure you bring your geospatial technology along on your digital transformation journey by investing in the necessary infrastructure to support cloud-based collaboration. By implementing a cloud-native GIS platform like Orbica, you can empower your team with cross-functional teamwork and break down silos within your organisation. That way, you'll create an environment that encourages innovation, fosters collaboration, and ultimately drives business growth.

• Privacy and security concerns

The final most common geospatial technology blindspot is privacy and security. With the rise of remote work and the increasing prevalence of cyberattacks, ensuring the privacy and security of your organisation's geodata is more critical than ever.

To keep your data and organisation safe, take the time to understand the confidentiality and sensitivity of your organisation's data. That way, you can develop privacy and security policies that are fit for purpose by balancing the need to protect sensitive information with the potential benefits of sharing data more openly. This approach will help you strike the right balance between safeguarding your data and fostering innovation within your organisation.

• Embracing the Digital Transformation Flywheel

Think of your organisation's digital transformation journey as a flywheel: with each successful turn, you build momentum, propelling your organisation forward. Transparency, collaboration, and digital transformation are interconnected, and it's up to you as a leader to drive this flywheel.

By addressing these geospatial technology blindspots, you create a strong foundation for innovation, allowing your team to level up their skills and ask better questions. As a result, your organisation can accelerate its digital transformation journey, reaping the benefits of increased efficiency, competitiveness, and success.

Although it’s up to you as a leader to drive this change, having the right geospatial technology and tools can make all the difference. While the typical GIS stack is outdated, siloed, and not fit for modern demands, modern, cloud-native alternatives are starting to emerge, like the Orbica geospatial platform.

By making the switch from old school tech to a future-proof, cloud native alternative, you can de-silo your organisation and give more people broad access to geospatial capabilities. That way, you can drive more value from your data assets and gain a winning edge in a competitive marketplace.

• Mastering the Art of Digital Transformation

Confronting your geospatial technology blindspots is essential for organisational success in the digital age. As a non-technical leader, it's crucial to recognise the blindspots that are holding you back, and develop strategies to overcome them.

By focusing on data governance and metadata, clear and consistent reporting, cloud technology and collaboration, and privacy and security, you can empower your organisation to embrace digital transformation and stay ahead of the curve.

Ultimately, the goal is to create a digital transformation flywheel, where your understanding and knowledge as a non-technical leader propel your organisation towards greater success. As you become more adept at navigating these technology blindspots, you'll be able to ask better questions, make more informed decisions, and steer your team towards innovation and growth.

To truly excel in the digital age, remember the importance of transparency and communication. Encourage open dialogue within your organisation, and be receptive to feedback from your team. When you create an environment that fosters collaboration and continuous improvement, you'll unlock the full potential of your organisation's digital transformation journey.

• Conclusion: Mastering the Art of Digital Transformation

Confronting your geospatial technology blindspots is essential for organisational success in the digital age. As a non-technical leader, it's crucial to recognise the blindspots that are holding you back, and develop strategies to overcome them.

By focusing on data governance and metadata, clear and consistent reporting, cloud technology and collaboration, and privacy and security, you can empower your organisation to embrace digital transformation and stay ahead of the curve.

Ultimately, the goal is to create a digital transformation flywheel, where your understanding and knowledge as a non-technical leader propel your organisation towards greater success. As you become more adept at navigating these technology blindspots, you'll be able to ask better questions, make more informed decisions, and steer your team towards innovation and growth.

To truly excel in the digital age, remember the importance of transparency and communication. Encourage open dialogue within your organisation, and be receptive to feedback from your team. When you create an environment that fosters collaboration and continuous improvement, you'll unlock the full potential of your organisation's digital transformation journey.

Ready to unlock the value of your geospatial data?

Orbica HQ New Zealand
Level 2, 130 Lichfield Street
Christchurch 8011
New Zealand

PO Box 1009
Christchurch Box Lobby
Christchurch 8140
New Zealand

info@orbica.com
Orbica Australia
Mobo Co
88 Tribune St
South Brisbane
Queensland 4101
info@orbica.com
Orbica Europe
TOG The Office Group
(Germany) GmbH
Kronenstraße 63, Berlin 10117
europe@orbica.com
© ORBICA LTD 2023Orbica LogoOrbica Logo
Orbica Logo