GIS supports the decision making process in organizations by using spatial relationships for making informed decisions.

Decision making is a continuous process in most organizations. GIS can play a crucial role in the acquisition, storage, manipulation, retrieval, and analysis of data to facilitate decision making based on reliable information. It can generate several alternative decisions that are based on various principles of connectivity, proximity, and contiguity. The process operates in the background and is far removed from the vision of the decision maker.

Let’s probe more into the role of spatial data in decision support systems and understand the opportunities for using the same to achieve sustainable development.

Importance of spatial decision support systems

Decision making in various scenarios ranges from structured decisions to unstructured decisions. Structured decisions are those where the decision maker creates a structured problem and programs and resolves the decisions using computers. Unstructured decisions are those where the decision maker cannot structure a problem and has to resolve it without computer assistance. In the real world, most problems are semi structured or lie between the structured and unstructured cases.

Most semi-structured decision problems have a spatial angle and hence belong to the evolving field of spatial decision support systems. Normal decision support systems often face obstacles in spatial problem resolution because of the inaccessibility to spatial data and the difficulties in viewing the various solution scenarios. Spatial decision support systems (SDSS) solve this problem by including spatial data in the decision support systems.

SDSS is an interactive system that uses computer technology and supports the users by increasing the effectiveness of decision making. It helps to solve the semi-structured decision problems and is also capable of handling the complex and ill-defined scenarios. SDSS also provides the necessary tools to understand the problem in a recursive manner during all stages of decision-making. The system performs effectively by incorporating the input from the decision maker and his judgment into the process.

Here, GIS supports to integrate database management, graphical display, tabular reporting, and decision maker’s expertise into the process. It ensures quick and efficient structured decisions and improves the issues in ill-structured decisions.

SDSS are useful to prioritize information gathering and development of data sets so that the spatial data is integrated into the decision making process. It also specifies the data requirements with respect to time, accuracy, and scale for better decision making across all departments.

The decision maker can use SDSS and build spatial and process-based relationships for the different data sets. They can also use it to merge the data layers and create synthetic information. Further, SDSS makes it possible to weigh the outcomes of the various alternatives and make accurate forecasts.

GIS is a significant tool that supports the decision making process by integrating spatial data. It uses the established relationships between the data, analyses the models, and tests the various scenarios for decision-making alternatives.


Enterprises are depending increasingly on GIS for their decision making. GIS takes complex data and transforms it into understandable information for reliable decisions. It helps to examine the historical data from various departments and forms a strong foundation for using spatial data in decision making.

As more and more companies are leveraging the power of spatial data in making decisions, it is important to utilize GIS for staying ahead of competition. SBL offers critical GIS solutions to support the decision making process in your organization. Our experts guarantee you affordable solutions that enable operational efficiency. Reach out to our GIS division to develop a custom solution that meets your business needs.

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