“A map does not just chart, it unlocks and formulates meaning; it forms bridges between here and there, between disparate ideas that we did not know were previously connected.”
- Reif Larsen
Wikipedia defines Business Intelligence as “the ability of an organization to collect, organize and maintain knowledge that can be used to develop new opportunities.” Business Intelligence is information leveraged towards helping your business grow, defining new markets, reviewing the competition, or simply planning for the future. Business leaders often find Business intelligence can be more informative when visualized against a web-map, also referred to as location based services.
Available web-based map applications today offer much more than turn-by-turn directions. Business intelligence begins with a visualization of critical business locations. Business web-maps enable easy web visualization of business spread sheets through standard import processes. The business manager can then visualize geocoded customer locations, prospects, and competition against an accurate base map or aerial image. Simple spatial search tools enable the geographic analysis of imported data providing valuable answers to questions like:
Today there are many on-line and desktop map applications that offer simple and affordable options for viewing business intelligence against compelling map data. Business users no longer have to wait for maps, delayed by a long GIS software learning curve, befuddled by Google API’s, or buried in the to-do pile of the resident Map Geek. Smart managers now have ready access to cloud-based business intelligence map engines informing decisions around a variety of business processes:
Marketing – Simple spatial analysis tools or radius searches quickly define prospects by location and enable list segmentation by area. Users can then target mail/email campaigns by geographic area or proximity to a store location.
Sales Planning – Building effective territory designs that organize and direct your sales team are critical to managing a sales force. Sales managers use common geographic units, like zip-codes or counties, to identify areas of responsibility and to coordinate and track sales efforts. Efficient sales trips become a function of identifying where customers and prospects are located and estimating driving times between stops. Territories are adjusted to reflect the most effective use of a sales person’s time and to minimize travel costs, while improving accountability.
Event Planning – Sponsoring conferences and exhibitions is expensive. To maximize an organization’s return on investment planners seek to understand all they can about their target audience through demographic analysis. Web maps offer a unique perspective on the surrounding community. Event marketing campaigns can be directed to potential attendees based on where they live, the local population densities, and incomes for specific areas.
Site Selection/Expansion Planning – Where to invest in new locations is a common and critical decision for growing businesses. Maps provide visual confirmation supporting such decisions. Customers, prospects, competitors and critical local services are all easily identifiable on a map through simple geocoding. Supplemental business datasets showing sales, resources, or demographics by location can make expansion planning an exact science.
Supplementing map visualizations with additional data overlays expands business intelligence capabilities, further empowering critical decision making. Common map data supplements include Census Bureau data, NAICS Business data, CDC Health Care data, and a myriad of industry specific datasets available through free and paid for sources.
Once business managers begin applying location based services to business intelligence gathering new and powerful insights will lead to successful strategic planning. Map users will explore new and evermore enlightening perspectives on their business data. Locations based analysis provides opportunities to expose new patterns in everyday business activity that will suggest new business processes, changes in sales approaches, or simply untried markets to explore.
There’s a very good reason why companies like Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon invest billions of dollars in basic web mapping functionality. Web-maps have rapidly become critical information sources informing business decision making and the development of business strategies. The use of web maps and location based services is both critical to business success and within the technical and budgetary reach of all businesses and organizations. Use these web maps to your advantage, or ignore them at your peril.
Selected Map Business Online features
Build fast map visualizations of your business dataMap business data from various sources by street address, city name, ZIP code, or latitude and longitude. Plot 100,000 or more locations on a map at once. All you need to start is a spreadsheet with business data.
Design and visualize sales territoriesUse our sales territory mapping software to create sales territories by ZIP code, county, or state. Aggregate demographics and sales data by territory. Search business data inside sales territories. Highlight territory overlap.
Plan customers visits with optimized routingUse maps to identify customers within a radius or polygon. Optimize visits sequence and generate turn-by-turn driving directions. Reduce travel costs. Improve ROI and productivity.
Perform Market Analysis for multiple sitesSearch data for multiple locations. Generate market area profiles. Find nearest store or pick up location. Calculate distances to multiple locations.
Aggregate demographic data and populate data records with geography names.
Visualize business data on map with various symbolsAssign specific symbols, colors, and sizes to your data points on map. Choose from a wide variety of symbols or create your own. Visually define customers and prospects across multiple locations using symbols color coding.
Color code maps by ZIP code, county, or stateImport business data by ZIP code to show it geographically. Create colorful maps for business analysis that connect real Census data to locations on the ground.
Illustrate business data on map with chartsGraphically depict your business data on a map using pie or bar charts. Use charts to show sales by product, invoices due vs. paid, products ordered vs. shipped, and sales by customer demographics.
Emphasize customers density with heat mapsHighlight market areas that generate more business. Visually compare map areas for business potential. Select from a variety of heat map colors and options.
Create powerful reports and presentations with mapsEmbed map images into reports. Use interactive maps for effective presentations. Export map as PDF to create large wall maps.
Share business mapsCreate interactive maps and share with friends, colleagues, dealers, customers, prospects or vendors. Share territory maps. Email saved JPEG and PNG files or embed map files in PowerPoint presentations. Includes PDF export for larger print formats.
Search data spatially with radius mapsExplore your data within circle or polygon areas. Organize search results into marketing lists or market areas. Export ZIP code demographics, territories, or marketing lists in Microsoft® Excel spreadsheets.
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