A number of our clients have been asking recently about incorporating maps into our private equity software.
There are a number of 3rd-party mapping solutions available for download in the AppExchange that can map addresses of your accounts (in fact, we’ve reviewed some of them below), but we thought it would be helpful to discuss the ways that maps might be useful to users.
Trip planning is the obvious reason for a fund manager to incorporate maps into AIM or Salesforce and probably the most useful.
Trip planning apps, in addition to simply plotting an account’s address on a map, can help users search for other accounts in a given area so they can see who else they should meet with when they’re on the road.
And once their schedule of meetings is set, a mapping app can plan their route, provide directions, and calculate travel time.
For trip planning, 3rd-party apps are usually the most helpful if they’re accessible via a mobile app or at least in a mobile browser.
A second and perhaps over-hyped feature of mapping apps is geo-analytics. Geo-analytics refers to the insights that can be gleaned from viewing account data, geographic data, and even demographic data together on the same map.
Many of the mapping apps we reviewed tout geo-analytics as the main feature but the extent to which it can be helpful to a fund manager is dubious.
That said, we’ve reviewed the following mapping apps available on the AppExchange:
Despite what these apps might say on their websites, there’s no secret sauce or dramatic difference that makes any one of them better than the other.
For our users specifically, you’ll want to make sure that any mapping app you use is able to map custom objects and that the app provides mobile access so you can manage your trips on the go.