How to Semi-Automate Imported Data Updates In MBO

The most popular Map Business Online feature is the ability to import user business data and view it on a map.  These data visualizations can be transformative as organizations, new to business mapping software, suddenly realize the power of location intelligence.

‘Realizing the power’ reminds me of the time in eighth grade (1973) when I was but a scrawny introverted nerd. After having abandoned piano lessons in fifth grade,  I was at the piano in the music room during lunch, attempting to play the hit song, Feeling Stronger Everyday by Chicago. Suddenly, the piano was surrounded by all of the ‘popular’ girls in my grade who were all singing along at the top of their lungs. No one spoke to me or made eye contact, but they clearly enjoyed the moment.

That night, realizing the power, I spoke to my parents about possibly restarting piano lessons. “No reason. I’d just like to take lessons again.”

And so it is with business map users after they’ve imported and viewed their business data over a business map. Still, once that data is imported how do you keep it easily updated? With a little planning, you can do this in Map Business Online.

  1. Add a Unique ID Column to your data spreadsheet. A unique ID column assigns one unique number to each data record in your dataset. MBO then uses that Unique ID to track and report updates, changes, deletions, etc. MBO doesn’t care where you get that unique number. Use a customer ID, or some record ID from your business system. Manual assign 01,02,03… in Excel. Just make sure these assigned numbers are actually unique. No repeats. You can’t have the same ID used more than once.
  2. Match Your Unique ID to MBO’s Unique ID field. When you go through the Import or Plot Data process, in the Second Selection Dialogue (Select Additional Data Columns) assign your unique data column to the Unique ID field. You’ll see it. Just click the drop down and choose your Unique ID Column. If your data isn’t unique, MBO will let you know that the unique field column you selected will not work.
  3. Process your data into MBO as usual. Remember you can import up to 100,000 records into each annual or team subscription business map. Try to keep the number of datasets imported to no more than twelve per map.

A Unique ID Column

Once your data is on the map, updates to your data file in MBO are managed in the Map and Data dialog.  To update your data:

  1. Select your Data Layer. In Map & Data hover your cursor over your imported data layer – click the Edit Gear.
  2. Choose your Update Approach. Under General Tab (along right side) look to the bottom and choose between: Update Data set from File (if you’re using a new file) or Refresh dataset.
  3. View your Update Notification. MBO will respond after the update to report on how many records were updated, deleted or added.

If you are using browser-based MBO, you’ll need to specify the file location.  Desktop MBO will know where the original location of the file is.

Important: These semi-automatic updates only work if the original column structure of the imported data is maintained as is.  You can’t add or delete columns.

MBO users who conduct a lot of data analysis will find this update option helpful in minimizing the work required to update data.

So, make life easier on yourself and add a unique ID column to your imported data layers. If you do, nerdy or not, I’m sure you’ll be feeling stronger everyday.

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Find out why over 25,000 business users log into www.MapBusinessOnline.com for their business mapping software and advanced sales territory mapping solution.

Contact: Geoffrey Ives geoffives@spatialteq.com or Jason Henderson jhenderson@spatialteq.com (800) 425-9035

MapPoint users please consider www.MapBusinessOnline.com as your MapPoint Replacement.

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