Map Business Online Blog

Read about business mapping and how it can help your business succeed.

Calculating Demographic Data Columns in Map Business Online

Map Business Online business mapping software includes access to demographic data with each subscription. Canada and the UK have basic demographic data options. The USA version offers a comprehensive library of demographic data layers beyond just population and household income. You’ll find ethnicity, age, gender, occupation, housing, and more demographic layers to work with. You can easily explore the data options by taking the thirty day FREE trial. In this way MBO is truly a demographic mapping software.

Within our demographic data offering are categories of demographic information broken down by age, year, or other segments. You might import your own demographic data with similar separated categories. Map Business Online provides calculating tools to combine these demographic gradations into one layer for a succinct presentation on your map. These tools are advanced. Any user can access this functionality, but it is advanced.

Once you realize you want to combine demographic layers, go to or open the Map & Data Tab. Choose any Map Layer like states, county or zip code. Hover over the layer and click the Edit Gear. Once inside that layer’s editing function choose Manage Calculated Data Columns.

This opens up the Calculate Data Column’s dialog. At the bottom choose Add Data Column. In this dialog usually the Demographic Data Options are preselected. But you will note in the drop down, you could choose data you’ve imported.

Be sure to Name the data you are about to create. For this I might name it Ages 65 and Up. But the naming is up to you. It helps you identify your data when you map it in a few minutes.

Looking at the demographic data layers on the left, scroll up and down the list to find the data you want to combine. In this example, we’re interested in all elderly people from age 65 and up. So, starting at population in the age bracket 65 to 69, we selected the layer and click the right directed blue arrow to add that layer to our combination operation. Then just go back and get age brackets 70-74, 75 to 79, 80 to 84, and (everyone’s favorite) 85 years and older.

Once you’ve got them all moved to the right, click the Add Data Column button which will show you the Manage Calculation dialog again, now with a New Column listed. You’ll note there is a Divide/Multiply option in the calculation process so you could apply division and multiplication operations if you had additional factors to consider.

From the Manage Calculation dialog, if you need to you can change the name of the data you created. Just click the Edit Gear and have at it.

Now, return to your map view. Choose the Three Puzzle Piece icon to create a demographic map by state, county or zip code. When you arrive at the Setup Color Coding page in the dialog process, click the drop down arrow to select your data. Choose the “Calculated” option that is listed there now. You should find your data listed there. Apply it as you normally would.

Your Calculated data result will also be available for use in Market Area and Sales Territory analysis datasets. You can even sum data components from different originating datasets – just make sure you are combining apples and apples.

Thus you are able to combine multiple data layers into one data layer within Map Business Online. When will we stop improving this product?

Find out why over 25,000 business users log into MapBusinessOnline.com

Contact: Geoffrey Ives geoffives@spatialteq.com (800) 425-9035, (207) 939-6866

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

Please read customer reviews or review us at Capterra, or g2crowd

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Time Away to Reinvigorate the Mind

You know what they say, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” Well, I’m not quite Jack Torrence from Stephen King’s The Shining but I do need require occasional break to recharge the batteries. So this week I am out on vacation.

However, I know many of you loyal blog readers will be finding it difficult to fill the void left by a week without our business mapping blog. So I thought I would point out to you this week that we’ve added a Map Gallery to our web site at http://www.mapbusinessonline.com/.

Just click on the Gallery tab or click here.

And if you still need more blog material here’s a link to a more personal mapping experience that might keep you mildly entertained until I return: The Birds of High Summer

Here in Maine we have two seasons, winter and July. Enjoy this week of summer.

Find out why over 25,000 business users log into MapBusinessOnline.com

Contact: Geoffrey Ives geoffives@spatialteq.com (800) 425-9035, (207) 939-6866

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

Please read customer reviews or review us at Capterra, or g2crowd

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Who Put the Business in Business Mapping Software?

New customers to Map Business Online often ask questions about customizing their business map data layers for their map viewing audience or their team shared-map editors. It’s natural that before you jump into a new technical product you want assurances that tool will work adequately for your team.

The truth is Map Business Online is rarely customized by our software developers for specific customers. If it is customized it generally involves creating an entirely new hosted product that entails a larger business opportunity for both Map Business Online and for the customer. It’s not cheap but could be a winner for the right opportunity. Don’t hesitate to ask about such customizations.

However, Map Business Online as released is in fact very customizable by the business map customer using the tools already provided. This means the application is designed to give business customers plenty of opportunities to customize their maps up to support their specific work flows. It’s kind of what we’re all about. We made Map Business Online to be a mapping software that can enhance your work in a variety of ways.

Templates
Firstly, the new MBO map administrator or creator can establish customer mapping that represents their basic business data visualizations and save them as a template for their users start from. This is especially effective for team sharing applications where you can pro-actively share a map, complete with imported data layers and geographic map layers, for your team to use as a starter map for more detailed work.
Import the data you want, keeping in mind that any data you import will be shared with your team and anyone they share with. If you don’t want someone to see it – don’t import it. Once you’ve got the map to your liking, save it as a MyTemplate map. Then go through the sharing process with your team or map viewing audience, as the case warrants.

Map Templates allow you to control what your editors and viewers start with. They also allow you to build a baseline map for your own future work. Perhaps you build a monthly map out of data that only changes once a year? In January you might build the template map and thereafter open a monthly version from that template.

Import a Unique ID Column
Or maybe you reimport a monthly dataset that’s usually pretty close to a previous release and you don’t want to have resymbolize and re-color code your data every dang month. If you have a Unique ID number associated with your data records you can use that upon import to set up more automatic updates for later work.

Your unique ID must actually be unique to make this work. No duplicates allowed. But if you do this upfront it will allow an easy button click to update the data. To update hover over the Map & Data Tab’s imported data layer and click the Edit Gear. You’ll find the update data buttons at the bottom of the dialog page. Test it out to make sure it works for you.

The nice part is that you don’t have to resymbolize and reclassify your data ever month. Combined with the saved template map work flow MBO processing just became what we New Englanders call, “wicked easy.”

Edit Your Data Map Side
Yes you can. Once you’ve imported a data layer you can edit the data on the map. I know I’ve talked about this before but it is important. In the Data Window, by hovering over the left hand column of green and yellow locator dots, you can choose to edit your data’s placement on the map or your data’s actual data records. This is beneficial for updating a few records, or to add a few new records.
If I was going to add a whole bunch of records, I’d boot up Excel, make my changes and update my data through reimporting or through auto-updates. But that’s me. You just need to know you can update your data on the map if you want to.

In fact, Map Business Online let’s you create entire new datasets on the map by adding new addresses. So you could set up a work flow where a user inspects an imported dataset, record by record, and culls out certain data records based on sales activity or patient acuity, and turn those data points into a new dataset on the fly. Pretty cool.

Generating Reports
In Map Business Online the business map user creates territories or areas of interest out of geographic districts like zip codes, Census tracts, or counties – to name a few. Once you established a sales territory, for instance, you’ll end up with a Data Window spreadsheet describing your area of interest by zip code or county or Census tract. These market analysis results can be appended with other data. So, for instance, you could add:

• Data from data you’ve imported like counts per zip, or sales per county
• Data from included MBO Demographic Data like population, income or ethnicity to name just a few
• Calculate column results – this advanced work can be done in MBO. It’s in the Map & Data Tab

The resulting dataset can then be exported as a CSV file report for use outside the application. And from within your MBO spreadsheet you can now generate summation reports for export as well.
Once you understand how Map Business Online transforms simple map data visualizations into a market area of interest or sales territory you’ll begin to understand how to generate report information applying the tool to your own specific work flows.

Enhance your work flows with business mapping software. Release your business data from boring and hard to access silos and let it soar above beautiful maps enlightening your overall business processes. Leverage the power of location in your business data and expose your next strategy. Or just create a zip code map.

Find out why over 25,000 business users log into MapBusinessOnline.com

Contact: Geoffrey Ives geoffives@spatialteq.com (800) 425-9035, (207) 939-6866

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

Please read customer reviews or review us at Capterra, or g2crowd

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How Can I Filter My Business Data in Map Business Online?

There are reasons why Map Business Online is the fastest growing business mapping software in North America and one major reason is that the tool is a pretty quick learn. This is mostly true – and yes, there are people who struggle with our user interface – but most people find the learning curve to be fast and easy. I qualify that statement because there are many successful business people whose minds just don’t easily absorb a new user interface. They think in different ways and we all need to support them. So, I can’t just say our user interface is easy for everyone. No user interface is.

One aspect of Map Business Online that people seem to be really enjoying, are the various ways a business map user can filter their business data. Now remember, you have to import your data first and we’ve addressed that in previous blogs, and will again in future blogs, so for now let’s assume you’ve created a really excellent Excel spreadsheet with address columns neatly established and imported your business data into Map Business Online.

Your Data Wants to be Filtered
For the novice, when we say ‘Filter your data’ we are describing ways in which you can sift through your business data to find specific groups of records. You could describe it as segmenting your list of location points or addresses. You can certainly filter your data in Excel. A business mapping application offers some filtering tools that are similar to Excel, but it adds the visual filter of geography whereby you can filter your data by district, zip code, polygon, circle or some other spatial arrangement. One way to think of this is you map excel data and filter it for insights about your business.

Color Code Your Points
Although color coding isn’t specifically filtering I point it out because color coding and symbolizing your business data immediately takes your imported data out of simply mapping multiple locations and into the realm of organizing data by type on the map with a Map Legend describing them. It’s easy to do in MBO and you have five buttons on the master tool bar dedicated to this symbolizing purpose. Use them. Color code your data by point, circle, heat map or chart. Or turn off your points (in the Map & Data Tab) and color code map layers based on your imported data by zip code, county, state or other map layers. By using these tools you’ve already provided your map viewers with a new view of your data. Test any one of them by simply clicking the tool and selecting the data you’ve imported. Go ahead – test it.

The Geographic or Spatial Filter
You can easily set up geographic or spatial queries by using either the Search Data tools or the Draw Tools in Map Business Online. They are right next to each other on the tool bar: Search and Draw The search tools on the left will more directly create data lists from your search action. The draw tools on the right focus first on drawing lines, points or polygons, but then offer the search data binocular icon to help create a segmented data group or marketing list.

Simply select a Search Tool from the drop down options – search by circle, polygon, or drive time polygon. Any of these when drawn around your data will create a subset list or marketing list of records in the Data Window. Those results could be used as a list for sales planning, customer mapping, or export the list out of the application completely. These query results could be routed on immediately by adding all rows to a Route from the Data Window toolbar. Or you could export your records back to Salesforce or ACT! – if you happen to be using one of those newly integrated products with MBO.

Any query results or marketing list results can be filtered on the map. In the Data Window, with your new query result named and selected, simply check the box marked “Filter Data on Map” at the top left of the Data Window. Bingo – now you see just those filtered results on the map. Don’t forget to uncheck when you are done.

Data Window Filtering
Now that the Data Window is open (your spreadsheet within Map Business Online) we have some additional filtering operations to explore.

Using the Data Window drop down in the upper left, choose your imported dataset – that’s your target for filtering. Once selected, you could filter that dataset by any Sales Territories you’ve created in your map – just selected the Search Data inside a Territory Button – the Yellow Puzzle Piece icon. This function will present the Save Data dialog to name your data for that territory. This search by sales territory is core functionality for sales territory mapping in Map Business Online.

Another wicked quick filter of your data is too simply search the Left Hand column of your data by keying a word or number sequence into the Data Window Search Bar – that big white space in the middle of the tool bar. So if the left hand column in your Data is the Company Name – and it often is – just key in a three or four letter syllable you know is in the record you seek. For instance – “INC.” Then click the Binoculars. Then all the records with INC in their name will be listed in the data window view.

The Data Window Filter Funnel
Go back to selecting your data in the Data Window drop down and this time choose to Filter Data by clicking that Funnel Icon. This tool lets you truly filter your data. Choose which column of data you desire to filter. Then choose from a selection of modifiers that will let you create a filter or a series of filters to fine tune the results you get.

You could for instance filter in the following ways:
• Choose a text column – Filter to show all records that Contain the name – John
• Choose a dollar value column – Filter to show all records that have values of >= (greater than or equal to) $2500
• Choose a numeric column – Filter to show all records that have values of = (greater than or equal to) 1500
• Choose the Zip code column in your data – Filter to show all Zip Codes >= (greater than or equal to) 99000 and <= (less than or equal to) 99800. Use the result to create a territory.

Do you get it? Modifiers, once the bane of a boring high school algebra class are now a very useful part of our business day. Wouldn't Mr. Mello and Mr. Moore be excited? Ok, you probably never had those guys in High School. But I did.

Anyway, filtering your data is really a huge part of what business mapping is all about. It let's you view business realities from various perspectives. It presents your customer transactions in a way that allows comparisons to other data sets. And it helps you consider new operational options. So have at it – filter your business data using Map Business Online.

Find out why over 25,000 business users log into MapBusinessOnline.com

Contact: Geoffrey Ives geoffives@spatialteq.com (800) 425-9035, (207) 939-6866

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

Please read customer reviews or review us at Capterra, or g2crowd

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