Optial’s GRC application includes mapping capability that enables users to view the location of items on a geographic map.
It is important for Managers in Risk to know “where?” issues (incident, risk, action, audit, investigation or project) are occurring. The answer provides the context and background for the issue, and it facilitates better ways for Managers to prioritize or plan. Understanding the “where” also aids in identifying hotspots for operational breaches or unveils behavioural or operational patterns that may have serious effects on the health of the organisation. It alleviates the opacity in data, provides context for the issue and is a valuable input for Managers interested in trends, outliers, root cause or contributing factors to risks, incidents, actions, breaches and investigations alike.
How does it work?
The mapping functionality utilises the locations in the Hierarchy in the system to map the user’s items. On the right is an example Organisation Hierarchy and corresponding locations:
The locations use Geographical coordinates and can be customised to the locations of the organisation’s segments, divisions or sites. For example, when a user creates a new risk in a Distribution Centre in New York, the incident is automatically plotted on the map based on the coordinates of the site of New York, USA, AMERICAS.
“Issues plotted against a map, capture our attention and keep our eyes on the key message of where high priority issues are occurring"
Managers can drill into the data-point on the map to further analyse the issues occurring at that location. The issues are in list format and provide high-level detail on the item such as location within the hierarchy, title of issue, relevant dates (i.e. completion dates and assessment dates) and levels of priorities, escalations and status of issue. Users can select or deselect or search within the columns of data based on their analysis. Additionally, within this list, users can create a new geographical visualisation to further zoom-in on the location of the issues providing a more detailed view.
The maps can be zoomed-out for a global view or zoomed-in to specific region or street map. The zoom-in feature allows users to go into detail to analyse exactly where the issue is occurring.
For example, an incident may have been logged at the Manufacturing site in New York, but another may have been logged for the car park next to it – zooming in helps Managers to distinguish on the map between site and the car park.
The resulting system reports can be based on a set of comparable or mixed issue types. For example, a map report can show incidents only or a mix of audits, actions, and incidents across an organisation.
Users can also specify the date range for items that they are analysing. Date ranges are used to filter to the current or specific time-period in which to analyse items. The data-points can optionally be plotted using bubble maps to indicate the relevant numeric value on at a location. The data-points can be colour-coded based on priority or severity of the issue. Both these options enable Managers to quickly identify the hotspot areas where high priority items are occurring and provides a clear message to Managers of the geographical location of issues, trends and outliers. Finally, the system provides for an aerial or road style maps – both of which can be exported to PDF or and image.
Geographical visualisation of data is a valuable tool. It is another powerful way to communicate data-driven findings, apt audits and analyses, and detect flaws. Issues plotted against a map, capture our attention and keeps our eyes on the key message of where high priority issues are occurring. It facilitates in detecting the bigger picture and patterns in data that are critical to professionals in the risk field, enabling users to identify trends and outliers in the organisation providing context and background to issues, transforming data into relatable and intelligent information that tells a purposeful story.