RETAILERS use it to decide on store locations, haulage companies use it for logistical planning, emergency services use it for resource allocation and the construction industry uses it for planning and design.
Geographical Information Systems (GIS) are already helping business across the world to enhance performance. Now the Downpatrick South Eastern Regional College (SERC) campus is providing companies with the opportunity to learn more about this tool with the first ever training course of its kind in the UK.
SERC has introduced a new Level 3 course in response to the growing use of GIS after it identified that there were no specific qualifications in this area. The part-time ‘GIS for Business’ course will commence in September on which students will learn how to use GIS software, the concepts of presenting and analysing information spatially, and using GIS technology.
Ken Webb, Principal and Chief Executive said, “We have identified a clear gap in the market. GIS is a valuable tool for businesses but they need the expertise and skills to use it. To date there has been no qualifications at a technical level but rather degree courses which are more focused on those studying geography. This course is about delivering the practical skills and knowledge which employers need”
GIS is the analysis of information about customers, logistics, business trends, economic activity and supply or demand. It can be used to define a target market, identify user trends, or make decisions for new product development or even location planning. GIS can benefit business functions such as marketing, customer service, estates, logistics and procurement allowing users to make informed decisions based on real business data. SERC is one such organisation reaping the benefits of GIS allowing the College to be more efficient in the use of marketing resources and more effective in curriculum planning.
Chris Holcroft, Director and Chief Executive Officer for the Association of Geographic Information said, “Geographical Information Systems really do make a difference in all areas of activity. The size of the UK Geographic Information business has been recently defined at over £900 million and underpins considerably more related added value in the public, private, academic, commercial and consumer sectors. GI & GIS is an international growth story and is part of the UK’s developing knowledge economy.
“It is envisaged that once businesses see the benefits of GIS in practice, there will be a greater demand for GI skills, training and software in order for businesses to gain further benefits; this will help fulfil national objectives for economic growth, operational efficiencies and better service provision in all sectors.”