MapBusinessOnline provides the business map user with the ability to create formulas and ratios using the Calculated Data Columns tool, applied by map layer. Calculated Data Columns is accessed by selecting a targeted map layer in Map and Data.
For example, hover your cursor over the ZIP code layer in Map and Data and click the Edit Gear that pops up. In the General panel that opens, choose Manage Calculated Data Columns.
Calculated Data Columns provides access to the complete library of Demographic Data included with every MapBusinessOnline subscription – Standard or Pro. It also provides access to imported data layers. This means a user could sum, subtract, multiply or divide using numeric data columns in demographic data layers or their imported data. Pretty cool.
When the user opens Calculated Data Columns, she starts with a simple dialogue panel that is the Calculated Data Columns home-base. Choose the option to Add a Data Column. Up pops a dialogue page that may take a minute to sink in. The top section allows the user to name the Calculated Data Column created. Also available in the top section is the ability to set the Number formatting and adjust the number of places and decimal allowances required. This is all a matter of set-up.
Below all that, the left panel provides access to both demographic and imported data layers through a dropdown. A map creator can select numeric data from the left selection panel and move it to the right panel, either as the numerator (top section) or the denominator (bottom section.) That is assuming you want to divide or create a ratio.
Wait! Are we back in fourth grade? Sorry, but how often do I get to use the terms numerator and denominator in a blog? My teacher from 1968, Miss Story, would approve.
Sum Demographic Data by Age Group for Retail Marketing
Most of the time, when I create a Calculated Data Column, it’s just a summation of related demographic data layers, like all population layers ages 65 and up. The resultant Calculated Data Column will be available in the Color Code Map operation associated with that specific Map Layer (ZIP Code – for example). The user clicks Color Code Map (Three Puzzle Piece icon), selects the proper map layer, and then, from the data selection dropdown, chooses Calculated Data Columns. The example used, the summation of the elderly population, is a popular map visualization for the homecare and assisted living industry. Read more about Color-coding a map layer.
Created and save Calculated Data Column results are available for use in map visualizations and analysis in the follow MapBusinessOnline functions:
- Color-Code Map
- Territory Mapping Analysis (More Data)
- Map Layer Labeling
- Data Window Filtering
Retailers might want to arrange a similar, age-based calculated data column for target audiences – teens through 20-somethings, or perhaps 30-something to 50-something women for specific products and services. Use Calculated Data Columns to sum demographics by age.
Calculate Demographic Data by Percentage for Political Analysis
Still, sometimes you might want to display a ratio of data. In which case you’d place your numerator data in the top and the denominator data in the bottom panel on the right and select Divide, in the middle. An example application might be to determine if the population of women ages 30 to 54 has increased or decreased since 2016 for all ZIP codes.
Notice you can also choose to divide one demographic data layer by the sum of two demographic data layers to derive a percentage. Make sure to choose Percentage as the number style option in the dropdown. These tools might prove valuable for political data analysts. Especially when comparing one election cycle to another and looking at demographic changes.
Calculated Data Columns for Business Intelligence Gathering
Another example that could come in handy for marketing and sales analysis, is the percentage of high-income populations by city limits or groups of cities. Often, boroughs, enclaves, or suburbs need to be grouped geographically to access public service requirements, potential markets for products and services, or government grant viability.
Calculated Data Columns used in conjunction with area groupings, or territory creation, can offer significant insight into the requirements of specific areas. I’m thinking about areas surrounding affluent cities like Palo Alto, California; Chevy Chase, Maryland; or Dallas, Texas. Such analysis is helpful for business expansion planning or relocation analysis, based on high disposable income areas.
Calculated Data Column formulas are available to MapBusinessOnline users from the same data dropdowns that offer access to demographic data. See my last blog on Demographic Data access.
One of the most powerful aspects of Calculated Data Columns and Demographic Data within MapBusinessOnline is the ability to aggregate totals into map layer labels. This means a ZIP code or a Territory label can reflect calculated data using up to five flexible label fields. Map creators can display instant business intelligence for the casual map viewer.
To “sum” up, MapBusinessOnine users can then apply Calculated Data Columns to the following applications:
- Combining demographic layers by age for medical, insurance, and tax purposes, as well as political analysis
- Combining demographic layers by income for market analysis, banking and tax purposes
- Developing ratios and percent calculations for map visualizations and labeling supporting political maps, market analysis, and real estate management
Pretty much any business mapping application, where you want to display a subset of a larger demographic data category, an ethnic component to overall populations, or an age segment of a gender population, will benefit from the use of Calculated Data Columns.
- Insurance companies
- Real estate agencies
- Sales and marketing organizations
- Restaurant chains
- Retail companies
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