A Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) provides a logical and transparent process to make decisions that have multiple factors. It also enables different solutions to be considered, and ranked accordingly based on weighted factors.A Graphis Information System (GIS)-based MCDA utilizes spatial analysis to determine the best and maximum land use for a specific area. It couples the traditional MCDA process with GIS to enable informed decision making by combining geographic data and stakeholder/decision makers’ preferences to evaluate and prioritize criteria and create clear, data-driven direction to make decisions. Often, this is symbolized through a heat map, where lands that are least suitable for development are “cold” (blue) graduating to those that are most suitable as being “hot” (red). Ultimately, this provides a transparent, data-driven approach to identify which lands are most suitable for development. Other benefits include the ability to easily receive and incorporate stakeholder feedback, track and reproduce methodology in ArcMAP.
V3 utilized GIS-MCDA to help the Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority (SREDA) develop its Saskatoon Region Agri-Business Attraction Study. SREDA had recognized the importance of the growing agri-food industry with the agri-business sector projected to contribute $10-to-$15 billion to Canada’s economy, and embarked on creating a strategy to make the region more competitive and attractive to agribusiness industries. The research and analysis carried out was critically important to identifying preferred locations within the Saskatoon Region to enable elevating their level of preparedness. The outcomes from the data driven analysis have enabled SREDA to identify and focus on specific land areas that align with agri-business needs.