Data has both a spatial and a temporal context: everything happens someplace and occurs at some point in time. Several tools, including Hot Spot Analysis, Cluster and Outlier Analysis, Emerging Hot Spot Analysis, and Spatially Constrained Multivariate Clustering, allow you to usefully exploit those aspects of your data. When you consider both the spatial and the temporal context of your data, you can answer questions such as the following:
- Where are the space-time crime hot spots? If you are a crime analyst, you might use the results from a space-time Hot Spot Analysis to make sure that your police resources are allocated as effectively as possible. You want those resources to be in the right places at the right times.
- Where are the spending anomalies? In an effort to identify fraud, you might use Cluster and Outlier Analysis to scrutinize spending behaviors, looking for outliers in space and time. A sudden change in spending patterns or frequency could suggest suspicious activity.