Appending Data to Your Business Map

Often, when we build a business map, we create it from a location-based dataset describing our business in some way.  But even after our map is complete, we may want to add new data to our project – business data that didn’t exist when the map was created.

Here are a few suggestions around adding data to an already existing business map.

Append the New Data to a Label

If the additional data you’ve got has a location component – an address, a state, a ZIP code – it can be imported into Map Business Online. From there you can append columns of that data to map layer labels and territory labels in your map.

A common example of this would be adding sales activity by street address to an existing sales territory map. All those sales records can be aggregated by county, state, ZIP code or even across an entire territory.

Expanded label functionality related to map layers will allow up to five columns of data to be reflected in a label.  In other words, your label can be expanded to reflect five fields of additional data. It could be a phone number, sales figures, a sales rep, or a product name.

Import a Point Layer

Sometimes the additional imported data has a location component, but the data isn’t appropriate for a map layer label. You can always import the new data to your map and leave the point visible and the labels associated with those points turned off. Then a map viewer can hover over or click on the point to get more information.

There are a few ways to do this subtly. You could make your point layer symbols very small so that the data points have minimal impact on the map view but are still barely visible. The data is still there to click on, but it is only utilized when that particular data is needed. You’re always able to select a point and view the associated data in the Data Window. Try it – click a point on the map and notice that data is now highlighted in the data window view. Ultimately this lets the user reference more than just five field options of a label – if you select the point you’ve got the Data Window record highlighted. This means all the data in your imported spreadsheet is there for viewing – up to 64 columns of it.

Above and beyond simple labeling options and Data Window views, by importing additional data layers you can pull columns of the new data into your Territory Analysis and data Summarizations by geography.

Remember: imported data is always accessible in Map Business Online for analysis. You’ll see it in data drop-downs in the following places:

  • The Data Window – view your entire imported data file within Map Business Online
  • Color Code Map Layers and Points – Color shade a map layer based on data you’ve imported
  • Territory Analysis – That’s the Data Window view of your territory. This would be a place to use sales numbers to balance territories
  • Summary Buttons – Whenever you see that sideways W that’s a summary option, and your imported data is one option for summarizing, which creates an exportable spreadsheet
  • Market Analysis – Compare two different imported data layers or a query result. Derive distances between locations or appended demographic data to imported data. Define an addressable market.
  • Calculate Data Columns – Combine data columns or multiply and divide data columns. Create ratios between your imported data and Map Business Online demographic data, then access the results in all the above places

Use the Unique ID Feature

You can be proactive about future data if the data you add is simply more of what you originally imported. Map Business Online offers a Unique ID field in the import process. If you provide a Unique ID field in your imported data that field enables a data update function. In this way, you’ll be able to semi-automate data updates. Simply follow the update path to update your Map Business Online imported data layer. See this blog.

If you do decide to use the Unique ID process for updates, consider adding a few extra columns to your initial dataset. This will give you the flexibility to add columns to future updates. Just a suggestion.

Business mapping is all about your location data. Even if your map is complete or months old,  it can still be updated and improved.

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Contact: Geoffrey Ives or Jason Henderson

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