The Spatial Miscellany


A weblog. A website. A geospatial miscellany…

The Value of GIS

Last month the National Audit Office (NAO) shared their findings from a review of value for money delivered by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) £40 Million investment in GIS. For every £4 spent on GIS, Defra delivers a £1 return on investment – ouch.


It’s worth casting an eye on the findings from the NAO, especially if you are in the process of drafting or updating your Geo Information strategy. The review suggests the existing strategy is technology heavy, and it’s hard to pass further comment with no exposure to the strategy or its implementation.

The key ‘finding’ in the report is familiar to all who work with GI – how do you quantify the value of GIS? It’s not tangible, it supports better decision-making, it’s a platform supporting the work of other departments, all of this is true, but frustratingly it doesn’t cut the mustard when it comes to establishing return on investment.

Executive Summary (PDF)
Full Report (PDF)
Methodology (PDF)

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