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Here's how Enteprise Decision Management puts location awareness to work

(Posted by guest blogger, James Taylor)

I saw this post by Charlie Bess of EDS today - Location awareness -- the tip of the iceberg. Charlie makes the great point that knowing where something or someone is (location awareness) is just an enabler for a whole range of interesting things, not really an interesting thing in its own right.

But take that location awareness - inputs from Sensors and GPS information - and act on it and you can really get some serious business value. Let's consider some examples:

  • GPS information allows you to identify the location of your trucks while EDM can use that data to re-route trucks to make more efficient stops to complete all the pick-ups being requested.
  • Sensor information tells you which package is on which truck while EDM can use this information to efficiently handle re-routing and deliveries.
  • RFID on badges can tell you where visitors (or at least their badges) are in your building. EDM can apply security rules and predictive analytics (for something like the likelihood that someone has not, in fact, stood still in this location for this length of time but has removed their badge) to trigger alarms, send security personnel out etc.
  • Sensors can tell a vehicle what obstacles are nearby and GPS can tell it where it is but only an EDM system can determine if that obstacle must be avoided or can be driven over and what the best route will be if it must be avoided.
  • Sensors can tell which drug is about to be give to a patient, an EDM system can apply dosage rules (given the known age and weight of the patient) and tell the nurse that its the right drug but wrong dosage.

And so on - you get the picture. Like so many things, location awareness information is interesting but it only becomes truly useful when your systems can take appropriate actions based on it. That's where EDM comes in.

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Sandy Kemsley

Location awareness is especially important for mobile applications, which I heard about at the recent FASTforward conference (blogged here

Paul Vincent

Location awareness can be classified as "situation awareness". This is usually real-time, involves frequent state changes and events, and operational statistical analysis rather than heavy predictive analytics. Situation awareness is typically an indicator of a CEP problem.

It would be interesting to get a comparison of traditional EDM (stateless rules, databases and app servers, analytics against data warehouses) and CEP (stateful rules, persistent event stores, operational analytics). Maybe we should propose a "Mac vs PC" style discussion on this? (CEP will be trendy, of course!).

Charlie Bess

What Paul called situation awareness, I've been calling contextual awareness -- Essentially the same thing.

With understanding of the situation, you can improve the ability to address cause and effect and be proactive. With understanding of the context, you can more effectively share what was unique about the situation, so the "user" can jump in and turn the anomaly into an opportunity.

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