Connection

The Official Blog of Forecast5 Analytics

Mike English
WRITTEN BY
Mike English

Analytics, GIS, Local Government

Park Districts: Using Maps and Analytics

Posted on Feb 23, 2015 12:00:00 AM

As geospatial technology becomes more prevalent, there will be an interesting opportunity for local park districts to use map based analytics for planning and marketing. The value that this technology can produce may be significant in terms of utilization of assets and identifying opportunities to increase participation in park district sponsored activities.

The strategy is relatively simple with a GIS (Geographic Information System) product like 5Maps. Simply upload participant data to the application, geo-code the addresses of the participants, and begin the analytic process. As a district administrator, imagine your participant database overlaid on a digital map. Each pin on the map would represent a participant and the pins would contain the relevant information from the database.

How could an administrator benefit from this type of interface? From a (truly) “high level” perspective, this type of map provides additional information and perspective that cannot be seen in a database or spreadsheet. An application like 5Maps will provide the geographic perspective of assets versus users. And, having the ability to filter your data based on geography is much simpler with this type of interface…you simply draw a shape around the area or data that you are analyzing and you receive instant results.

With respect to park district planning, geospatial analytics can identify how many participants for each activity are coming from each region in a district. It can also provide fast analysis of participant location vs. playing field location. Particularly in non-draft sports, digital maps can be used to quickly develop neighborhood teams and coaching match-ups. In terms of communications, administrators can use the map interface to generate geographic directed call lists and mailing labels.

In terms of marketing, park districts can start to mine their data in a new way and use geoanalytics to initiate targeted marketing campaigns. For some districts that offer access to facilities such as swimming pools and field houses to non-residents, geoanalytics provides a new way of thinking about expanding revenue streams.

While park district databases might not be voluminous enough to qualify as “big data”, park administrators can avail themselves of big data technology to create efficiencies and enhance program participation. Does your local park district use geoanalytic software?

For additional information regarding 5Maps, visit http://www.5maps.com.

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Mike English is a founder and the CEO/President of Forecast5 Analytics, Inc. – a technology company focused on software development and data analytics for the public sector. Mike has spent his entire career concentrating on the development of financial and strategic solutions for schools and municipalities. Forecast5 is headquartered in Naperville, Illinois – a suburb 30 miles west of Chicago.

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