As BB&T and other banks look for every possible competitive advantage, no matter how small, GIS software is playing a key role in developing ever-more-precise views of data. While GIS tools have been around for years, the software has become more advanced recently and more and more banks are using it for an increasing number of projects.


“You could look at a spreadsheet with 30 columns and try to figure out your decision, or you could look at a map and see it all in one place and the decision becomes much more apparent,” said Jon Voorhees, a former senior vice president for retail distribution at Bank of America, who is now an adviser at Peak Performance Consulting Group in Austin, Texas.


Now, banks create maps using multiple layers of data, tracking everything from the rate of nonperforming loans to levels of homeownership in specific census tracts. Mapping software can also help banks monitor potential security threats and even manage where and how to deploy executive talent.