Map Business Online users love to import location data. It’s easy and fast and people love to see how their business locations appear on a business map. That’s the whole beauty of business mapping – exposing patterns, visualizing customers, – yada, yada, yada. You’ve heard me say it over and over. Updating data that you may have already imported is a little trickier. So, let’s go over those processes.
Use a Unique ID in Your Data
If you’re a planner and you know you’ll be regularly importing data and updates to that data, make sure you include a unique ID column in your spreadsheet. You can assign that unique ID yourself (100, 101, 102 etc.) or let your business systems do it by including a column for customer number, record ID – whatever unique number assignments your system might apply.
To apply your Unique ID column to the data import process simply match your column of Unique ID data to where the labeling dialogue box asks for Unique ID. That happens on the second MBO import dialogue page. By using this process, MBO will be ready to assess which records in your data have changes when you update – which records have been added, deleted, or edited.
Apply your data updates by hovering over your imported data layer in Map & Data – choose the Edit Gear and select the Update Dataset from File button. You’ll receive an update report upon completion telling you how many records changed – 3 where added, 1 was deleted.
But many of us may have imported some records or plotted a few addresses manually, without importing data or using the Unique ID option, and you just want to add a few more records manually to them same dataset. There is an MBO process for these incremental updates.
Add a Few Points Manually
Plot your new point on the map by entering it into an address in the address bar. Remember the format – Address, City, State, ZIP code. We use commas. You’ll see a mini toolbar just below your newly plotted point. Click the Save Location button – a red map pin icon on the mini tool bar.
That brings up a process for selecting a dataset or starting a new one. If you’re adding data to an already plotted group of points, choose the data layer in the left side drop down. If you want to start a new layer – click New.
Once your data layer is selected click Add Location to formally record the location to a place on the map. A data update page will pop-up to allow the user to input data records for a new point as necessary. Please note, you still have the option to add a new layer or update your selected layer. When done click Save.
In MBO, if you have created or imported an address-based dataset you can add address-based points to that dataset. Likewise, if you’ve imported or created a latitude/longitude-based dataset you can add dropped lat/lon points to that dataset. But those formats must match.
You’ll need to have columns for latitude and longitude if you want to add lat/lon records to a dataset. Dropping manually plotted points with a draw tool (Add Location…) will only work if the dataset you’re adding to has latitude and longitude columns in it. Manually plotted points on the map are not plotted as addresses but instead are plotted as location coordinates.
Editing Marketing Lists
In MBO when you search a dataset and save the results in the Data Window the saved results is called a Marketing List. Marketing lists can be created from geographic searches like a radius search or by filtering your data in the Data Window.
Once created, you can edit a marketing list. In the Data Window, hover your mouse over the left side colored dots column (these colored dots indicate how well your addresses geocoded.) Click the pencil icon that appears to change the location or edit your data.
The Data Window includes two buttons along its toolbar for creating and adding to a marketing list. One button is a Page icon with a yellow Asterix on the top right corner. The other marketing list button is to its right with a green and a red arrow pointing in opposite directions. Use these two buttons to create and edit marketing lists using data you’ve gathered in the data window. These marketing lists tools come in handy every so often.
For example, you can filter an imported dataset down to a selected set of records, and then save that list as a marketing list. The new list can be used in Market Analysis or in Territory Mapping. Or just export the list out for use in other applications.
Summarizing from the Data Window
Did you know you could also Summarize from the Data Window? Well you can. Down in the lower right-hand corner you will see a ∑ symbol – that stands for Summarize. This button will allow you to extract columns from your imported data and create quick spreadsheets for export.
Right next to the summary button is the copy button. You can filter data in the data window and copy for pasting into other applications. You can even resize the data window itself and copy just those records that are visible. Which is totally cool.
The more you use these data manipulation tools the more value you will be getting out of your location-based data. Use Map Business Online as a filtering tool to focus on elements of your data related to geography, demographics, or selected ranges of your data.
Business mapping software is a platform for segmenting and exporting key elements of your data.
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