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GIS Return on Investment (ROI) Fundamentals

February 19, 2023 10:33 AM | Sandra Crutcher (Administrator)

A BeSpatial'23 Workshop:  - GIS Return on Investment (ROI) Fundamentals

Register - Select Registration including workshop option

Date: May 3, 2023 Time: 2:00 - 4:00 PM

Goals and objectives of this workshop

Show me the money! A geographic information system in any government agency, non-profit, or private company competes for financial resources. GIS managers must be able to articulate the many qualitative and quantitative benefits that GIS provides. But ultimately GIS needs to show the financial benefits that it provides to decision makers. How does a highly competent GIS manager accomplish this?

GIS management is a challenging profession. Effective GIS management is a critical success factor for an agency to leverage the potential of its investment in geospatial data and technology and to maximize GIS ROI. Adequate financial support is a key factor for a successful GIS. This is a key GIS management responsibility.

This GIS Management Academy™ workshop introduces the use of return on investment (ROI) analysis methods to document the net financial benefits that an agency might achieve from its GIS. In this workshop we will review the types of benefits that GIS provides. We will focus on recent (non-GIS industry) literature that documents the significant ROI from GIS at various social and institutional levels.

A major portion of the workshop will demonstrate a simple, objective methodology that has been used to quantify and report GIS performance metrics and ROI. This demonstration will include the use of a custom Excel Spreadsheet template that will be provided to all students who complete the workshop. After the workshop each attendee will have the tools and framework to input data to document their GIS ROI.

Enterprise GIS is expensive to develop, maintain, and operate. Even small-to-medium-sized cities, counties, and regional agencies have invested millions of dollars to develop their GIS capabilities, and they can have large annual operating budgets. Many recent third-party studies have proven that GIS delivers significant financial return on investment (ROI) to organizations that deploy it as an enterprise business-support tool.


Current GIS managers, supervisors, and coordinators, and those who aspire to a successful career in GIS management. Also, agency budget and finance managers and senior agency stakeholders interested in understanding the quantifiable financial benefits from geographic information science and technology.

Topics Covered

How organizations achieve their goals and objectives

Budgets as tools to allocate resources within organizations

The societal benefits of GIS

  • Non-financial
  • Financial benefits across society
  • Financial benefits within organizations

Fundamentals of estimating future GIS benefit-cost analysis

Return on investment basic concepts

Fundamentals of calculating actual return on investment (with demonstration)

  • Quantifying GIS costs
  •  Quantifying GIS financial benefits

Practical considerations of using GIS ROI as a decision support tool

Methods of displaying and comparing results

Exercise: Attendee discussion and feedback

Prerequisites and Recommendations

No prerequisites. Recommended for GIS managers, consultants, and academics, as well as budget and financial managers interested in assessing the financial benefits from their GIS operations.

What You Will Receive

  • Two (2) hours of instruction from Greg Babinski, who is a subject-matter expert and workshop author. 
  •  A copy of the workshop presentation and exercises.
  •  A copy of the GIS ROI Excel spreadsheet template.

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We are recognized as the premier geospatial and information non-profit organization in Ontario. where members share their experiences through networking and program events for the use and integration of spatial data, information, applications and technologies that provide solutions and solve challenges in both the public and private sectors.


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