Business mapping software bridges the gap between business spreadsheets and reality. Investing in a business mapping application adds a new perspective to your business. Physical reality is represented by the map with all of its location-based components. Business spreadsheets are represented by, well, business spreadsheets. When you map data from Excel you place your business data on the map.
Know the Data Window
In Map Business Online (MBO) we provide a tabular view of your imported data and provided map layers called the Data Window. Think of it as a window overlooking the heart and soul of your business. Too much? Ok, think of it as providing a window on certain aspects of your business data – the location related aspects. Most business mapping software applications provide some sort of tabular view of your imported business data.
When you first open a new map in MBO the Data Window shows you the Map Layers available – these include counties, states and zip codes. There are more map layers available from the Add Map Layers button. The Data Window provides many of Map Business Online functions including:
• Imported data presentation and data query work – a work sheet view of imported business data
• Territory mapping, storage and display tools
• A demographic data analysis platform
• A data segmentation tool for market analysis, data reporting, and optimized route creation
The Data Window opens up whenever we import data, create data, or create territories within Map Business Online. To access the Data Window at any time simply click the Spreadsheet Icon to the immediate left of the Car Icon on the right side of the Tool Bar.
Data Presentation & Querying
When you import your business data – customers or prospects from your CRM, or vendors and payables contacts out of QuickBooks – it is displayed on the map as location points or symbols and displayed within the Data Window as a spreadsheet. When you click on a location point on the map, that identical record in the Data Window is highlighted in yellow. Thus the two presentations of your business data are linked – map view & Data Window.
That linked map and data function comes in handy. Click a record on the Data Window and the map window zooms to that location.
You’ll notice too that when you import and plot data points the left hand column of the Data Window indicates whether or not your records geocoded well. In other words, the locations were accurately mapped by MBO. Green means good, yellow means it could be improved (it might be a PO Box for instance) and a red X means the address did not geocode at all. You can click into these records from that left column indicator and create or adjust the location of each record. There is also an option to edit other aspects of the data record here.
In terms of presentation, you can also use the Data Window as a report generator. Here you can add MBO provided demographic data to your imported data, or filter your records for a subset or segmented view and save the file to your desktop using that far right button on the Data Window toolbar.
If you import or create territories in MBO you immediately are presented with a Data Window view of your territories. Each territory name will be listed below the Map Layer it is based on. Zip code based territories are neatly listed below the Zip code map layer. Each territory data set will list all of the component administrative districts that make up that territory. This data is exportable and you can add demographic data to your territory for optimization or analysis. Again, these data layers are exportable.
Other territory management tools found in the Data Window include a color box to adjust territory shades, and the marketing list and territory name management button (second from the right). Use this to change the territory name or to delete your territory.
You can also use the Filter Button on the Data Window tool bar to create territories by zip code range. Select the zip code map layer and click that Filter icon button. On the left, choose drop downs General and Zip Code and then use the modifier selection on the right applying “greater than” > xxxxx and “less than” < xxxxx to generate a list of zips. Saving the file lets you name the new territory. Too cool for school, I tell you.
And to query by territory simply select the target data layer you want to query (accounts or customers) than choose that Yellow Puzzle Piece icon on the Data Window Toolbar and select the Territory to query by.
By choosing the Filter Data on the Map check box – upper left hand corner – you can view just those queried records, or just that selected territory. Great for focusing on one territory at a time.
You can easily add multiple demographic data layers to your Data Window work, as mentioned above. Click the Gear button in the bottom right corner. In the dialog box that appears selected Demographic Data from the drop down options. There’s the current list of Census data options and we’re adding a bunch more in September of this year. Use this to add population, income or household information to your business analysis or to better assess your territory assignment rules. Remember, you can export this demographic data too.
Using the Data Window toolbar buttons you can filter and segment you business data in many ways. Click that filter button to search your data by:
• Zip code or other administrative district
• By any data column within your imported data – Status, Type, Name, Address…
• Use those modifiers – equals, contains, does not equal, or my favorite ‘less than or equal to’ < =
Once you have you adjusted data sheet, save it as a route or territory. Note the toolbar Spreadsheet Icon with the Car on it. That lets you plan a route – a multi-stop optimized route – to all records in the Data Window up to 125 stops or records.
That’s enough Data Window lore for one day. Be sure to use this powerful map data manipulation tool when managing your projects and territories.
And don’t forget to consider www.MapBusinessOnline.com as a MapPoint alternative.
Let a digital map help you learn about your business.