Creating future spatial transformers

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Geographic information systems (GIS) technology in the private sector is expected to become a $10 billion industry by 2023. The need to maximize the understanding and effectiveness of GIS in business spurred the University of Redlands School of Business and Esri, the global leader in location intelligence, to launch the Spatial Business Initiative. The initiative will encompass educational programs, ground-breaking research, and national and international advisory offerings.

“Location analytics delivers business insights into markets, customers, logistics, and supply chains like never before,” says Thomas Horan, the Senecal Endowed Dean of the School of Business and member of the Esri Business Advisory Council, who is leading the initiative with U of R Professors James Pick and Avijit Sarkar.

“Esri is proud to be a part of this ground-breaking initiative,” says Jack Dangermond, Esri founder and president. “Education has always been an important part of our mission. The business world is increasingly relying on spatial data today to make better-informed decisions, so it is more important than ever that students have a foundation in location intelligence.”

Funded through a grant from Esri, the Spatial Business Initiative began offering an online MBA with a concentration in location analytics in September. A formal certificate in location analytics will be offered starting in January 2019, both online and on the main University of Redlands campus.

In addition, the Spatial Business Initiative is surveying businesses across diverse industries to better understand how businesses use location intelligence, including strategies, costs, benefits, risks, challenges, and trends. Results of the first survey were reported at the Business Summit at the Esri User Conference in San Diego in July.

Other initiative projects include an annual research conference; executive training; and an upcoming Esri Press book, Spatial Business: Competing and Leading with Location Intelligence, aimed at professional and business school audiences.

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