Map Business Online Blog

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

Map & Data Controls in MBO


Business Mapping Software for when you don’t have time to research Business Mapping Software.

Within Map Business Online many functions are controlled from our Map & Data box.  Map & Data is opened by clicking the light blue tab arrow that is located in the exact middle of the left hand side of your map view. Click this blue arrow tab and a light blue box opens up with map layers listed.

Map & Data includes a short tool bar along its top line. I usually keep my drop down tab set at Custom View, but you do have the option to quickly reset the map view by selecting the other listed options – like Satellite & streets view or Zip codes view. The overall short tool bar also includes an Edit Gear which lets you inside Map & Data map layers to edit your map view in a variety of ways, and this tool bar also includes the State Filter button to limit the view on the map by state.

Map Layer Controls

Map & Data is, in large part, a layer control tool. It controls the display of imported layers and the geographic district layers like zip codes and counties, that are embedded in the application. Here are some of Map & Data’s basic functions:

Delete imported data – go to Map & Data, hover your cursor pointer over the targeted imported dataset, click the Red Button that pops up to delete imported data.

Reorder imported data layers – grab an imported data layers with your cursor and move it up or down the list to reorder the data placement hierarchy on the map

Edit data layers – hover your cursor over the target geographic layer and click the Edit Gear to change line or fill colors, line thicknesses, label sizes, append data to district labels, pop-up labels or territory labels. Remember: the Edit Gear means you can edit things

Edit imported data labels – hover your cursor over the target imported data layer, click the Edit Gear and choose the Callouts tab. Reformat your callout data, adjusts fonts, open all callouts, adjust format sizes.

Edit imported data formats – hover your cursor over the target imported data layer, click the Edit Gear and choose the General tab.  Customize the dataset’s data properties by column, adjust symbols, update the dataset from a file.

Click that Edit Gear to Edit Stuff

In Map & Data click the Edit Gear on the overall short toolbar to access Territory Options and allow territory overlap or intersection. You can also adjust your Zip Code options which will enable Town, City or Placename labels in your Area of Interest data. USPS Zip codes with fillers will make it possible to shade none-zip code areas to match your zip code map territory assignments.
PT AOI Map
The overall Edit Gear will allow the same access to data layers as the Hover over a layer operation does. See the tab called Map & Data – here you’ll find all your map layers listed. Click in the corresponding light blue area to edit your target layer. This is simply another path to editing your map layers.

Under the Map Options tab you’ll find access to the various map background choices included with Map Business Online. You will also notice another button for accessing State filtering.  The Map Options tab also presents the Edit Legend button – this turns the legend back on when you’ve removed it from your overall map.  And the Map Options tab lets you Delete Drawings – circles, line objects, labels, rectangles, or drive time polygons you’ve created on the map.

The overall Edit Gear also directs you to the Territory Options Tab where you can click on sales territory transparency and allow territories to intersect or overlap.

Advanced Features In Map & Data

There are several rather advanced and very cool features in Map & Data.  They include appending data to map labels, building calculated data columns for data appending, and updating your imported data from your file.

 

Appending Data to the Map Label

Hover over any geographic map layer and click the Edit Gear. Now choose Labels and then Format labels. Here you can choose to add data to State, Zip Code or County labels. For instance you could append the count from your imported data into the Zip code label. Or you could append the population totals by county into the County label. This works in similar ways for appending data to pop-up (custom) labels. This is a great way to display sales results in territory labels on a sales territory map.

 

Building a Calculated Data Column

The calculated data column is used to combine separate but similar demographic data layers into one column. Hover over any geographic map layer and click the Edit Gear. Under General, choose Manage calculated data columns.  Add the column, and name it – “People 65 and up.” Now choose the various layers that make up ages 65 and up. Click Change data column. Using MBO as a demographic mapping software you should be able to access this data from territory analysis or summary data operations.

 

Edit Imported Data from File

Many users want to automatically update their data after importing it into Map Business Online. You can easily set this up if your data includes a column for Record ID or Unique ID.  These unique ID numbers could be CRM data record IDs, or account numbers.  They must be unique to control the data updates in MBO.  As you import your data Choose the Unique ID column on the second dialogue page of your import.  Later, when you want to update your data, go to Map & Data and hover over your target imported data layer. You guessed it, click the Edit Gear. Choose Update Data from File or Refresh Dataset.  Either way you should be notified of how many records change, and whether they we added or deleted.

 

Print this blog out and tape it to your bathroom mirror at home so you can read it as your brush your teeth. it is that important. Seriously, MBO users should consider creating a test map, open up Map & Data and try many of these features to help you become more familiar with the tool.

 

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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Some Personal Benefits of Business Mapping

On this blog and in our marketing content we talk a lot about the business features and benefits that Map Business Online users experience.  We assure you how easy the product is to use, how our sales territory maps drive accountability, and that our maps and demographic data are up-to-date. These are all great business benefits for you, the user.  But some users actually derive personal benefits through the use of business mapping software such as Map Business Online.

You’re A Techie – Like It or Not

For me using business mapping software has helped me become more comfortable with technology overall. I have become much more fluent with tools like Microsoft Excel, and other database management services including CRM tools. Importing data into a mapping application is typically pretty straight forward, but at times one must deal with curve balls, like opening up exported CRM data from one field to many fields, or converting latitude and longitude coordinates from degrees, minutes, seconds, format to signed degrees format

Utilizing “cloud based services” in general has become old hat for me now. I remember when I first heard the term ‘The Cloud’ a decade or more ago at an esri conference, the term sounded like a mysterious new world. It turned out to be simply another phrase for web-based. This is similar to the term the Internet of things (IoT), which simply refers to the fact that lots of devices and machines are connected to the Internet these days.  Who comes up with these names?

Map Geeks Rule

There are still many offices where business maps are not used but should be. Mapping enthusiasts should look for opportunities to use business maps in such places. Successfully applying technology in new and surprising ways lets you stand out from the pack. Take the initiative and be the one who shows up at the meeting with business mapping slides that display some of the meeting subject matter against a map. Pretty soon the boss will be calling you in to design maps for his expansion plans.  “Get that map geek Allison in here to put a map together for me, see,” the boss will say in his gravelly voice. “That doll face is a map genius.”  The boss is old school, evidently.
Stand Out Map
Becoming familiar with business mapping capabilities means you’ll be learning about detailed aspects of your business.  While you may still be answering the phone when a new call comes in, perhaps you’ll be the one helping to establish territories for the entire organization. By working hands-on with territory management you’ll come to understand company goals and objectives.  The various business channels your company sells through will become crystal clear to you as you apply business maps to representing sales by location. Territory creation is a desirable skill and should be listed on your resume or on LinkedIn.

Maps Are Fun

Come on, what’s not fun about maps? Maps relate to places on Earth. Using an online map tool is a little like traveling while remaining seated at your desk. Maps can be colorful.  You can design your own color code schemes by a variety of geographic segments and layers.  You get to overlay your own business data, which is always interesting. Every time you use a business map you learn a little something new.

Think of the layers you get to use – zip codes, counties, satellite imagery, and topographic views. I know if I was a private detective (a job I could see myself doing someday) I’d be using business mapping tools all the time. You could discretely follow a target, and track all his stops on your business map. You never know what a tracking pattern might reveal. Maybe you’ll get the big payday like Humphrey Bogart in the Maltese Falcon, or maybe you better watch your nose like Jack Nicholson in Chinatown.

Regardless of how your case turns out, business maps can help you visualize more about your personal world than you thought possible. Demographic views can help with your volunteer work just like it does for business. And it your thinking of buying a new house, what better place to keep track of all those open houses you’ve attended then a business map.

Around home I’ll use Map Business Online to plan hiking trips.  We live in Maine so hiking is often on the weekend agenda. MBO provides street map views, two topographic map views (merged Topo Quads and National Geographic maps), and a satellite/aerial imagery view. Using all five of these layers can be helpful in determining which trials are still active, distances you may have to bush whack, or how steep the terrain is going to be where you plan to picnic.  Kayak drop-offs and pick-up points are easily planned based on a business map’s details.

As weekend a musician, I used Map Business Online to map out all of the potential gig locations in the Southern Maine area. I could classify the venue location points on the map by capacity or perhaps color code the venues by musical interest – dance music, jazz originals, Lawrence Welk covers.

Whatever your personal activities are, I bet you can find ways to apply a business map towards their greater enjoyment. I was going to create a map showing all the locations where I’ve been pulled over by the cops, but the mappoint limit is 100,000 locations per map. For additional business and recreational map use ideas be sure to check out the map Business Online map gallery. https://www.mapbusinessonline.com/Map-Gallery.aspx

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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Business Mapping Software for Small Businesses

Small businesses require their employees to wear many hats. Many hat syndrome is both part of the fun and part of the pain of running a small business. A small business is not likely to have excess money on hand to cover the costs of big mistakes. Start-ups and small businesses run lean and mean to survive and grow. They must be cost conscious and wary of over-reach. Many small businesses contact Map Business Online to explore the power of location enabled views of their business data.

Business Mapping is Affordable
One simple reason for this interest is that business mapping software is extremely affordable.  A single subscriber can access customer visualization or market analysis tools for less than $300 and begin to supplement operational work flows with mapping software while planning sales and marketing campaigns based on location analysis.

A small business, highly dependent on local customers, stands to benefit greatly from local market analysis based on zip codes, counties or even Census tracts.  These smaller geographic districts provide segmented views of sales and marketing results adding location-based analysis results to strategic planning. Zip code maps and Census tract maps easily correlate your business data with population or house hold income statistics. For instance, a small home care agency might overlay its existing patient census along with the local population of 65 year-olds and older on top of your operating zip codes.  Such correlation can help define market potential, perhaps even map out-patient census growth over a three years period. Now they can answer the question: are these key population groups rising or falling in our market area? Do we need more staff or less for 2016? Demographic maps add new dimensions to your small business analysis.

Because small businesses have limited budgets, ERP and CRM systems may be planned future investment while immediate customer tracking is maintained in Microsoft Excel or some other low-cost database management tool. Business mapping tools are a great supplement for basic business tracking systems. A simple address database exported to a digital map software turns an Excel customer list into an array of points viewed against a map, color coded by customer type.  Monthly sales by customer can be aggregated map-side into quarterly results by sales territory. Such business maps easily provide shared views on how sales efforts are progressing, while suggesting new prospecting areas for potential sales in the next quarter and beyond.  You know what question this helps to answer: How are we going to double sales in twelve months? Every sales manager’s favorite question.

Business Mapping is Easy
That small biz multi-hat requirement leaves little time for in-depth market analysis. By exporting your address enabled business data to an accurate business map your usual business analysis and strategic plans can quickly take shape on the fly. A revenue dollars by location spreadsheet, in a few easy steps, becomes a regional heat map view of sales that immediately shows your team where and how things are happening.

Business maps add credibility to a small or large business manager’s sales plan. It’s one thing to purchase a list of names and direct the sales team to start dialing for dollars.  [Idea for future blog title: Cold Calling: Dead or Alive?] But it’s an entirely more credible approach to initiate a prospecting campaign based on demographic analysis of an unassigned market area that happens to coincide with an up-tick in inquiries your team has reported. This is sales leadership. It’s the difference between a room full of hourly employees dutifully dialing a call-list while watching the clock, and a motivated sales team exploring a hot list of leads based on pertinent field data they helped uncover. Which team would you rather be on?

Some companies use business mapping software to analyze daily or weekly operational results. This could apply to shipping results, sales call results, or product output. All your data requires to be an effective source to location-based analysis are locations – addresses, zip codes, lat-lons – whatever works.  Display the manufacturing location. Show ship-to addresses and your ship-from locations.  You can add all the additional data you want. It should only enhance your business map’s effectiveness.

Import Your Location Based Business Data
One of the greatest challenges a small business faces is defining its primary reason for being.  I’m not suggesting business mapping software can solve this challenge, but it can be a part of the solution. Sometimes a business knows exactly what its primary purpose is. For example, a business that produces and sells Maine made whoopee pies is focused on just that product.  Managers for Maine Whoopee Pies LLC might simply concentrate on producing more efficiently and selling to more stores and restaurants.
Tenant Locations
Maine’s Best Bakery (MBB) on the other hand might not be so clear on purpose.  This company offers a broader selection of baked goods. They cater to a half-dozen niche markets, each demanding a unique product.  At some point the diversification begins to drive up raw material costs and create inefficiencies in production.  Time for a strategic review of sales history to determine the most profitable products and markets.  A business mapping tool can quickly establish basic facts that can inform strategic MBB’s business analysis:

  • Import a dataset showing where MBB products are sold and color code  the data to display net revenue, and profit margin by location for 2015. Make note of the three most profitable sales locations.
  • Develop cost of delivery estimates for each sale based on a standard cost per mile calculation
  • Add demographic data to your map view, including population and median income by zip code, for five-mile radii surrounding each sales location
  • Import an additional data layer showing MBB’s known baking competitors in all of the business’ operating areas and beyond

It’s important to understand your business’ operating area by profitability, costs of goods sold, and competitor presence.  Adding  a demographic layer to your map extends your operating area potential; it let’s you view similar demographic areas where you may not currently play. Perhaps sharing a similar business map slides of your company’s operating areas might inspire some interesting strategic discussion amongst your key people?

Wearing many hats may include a white chef’s hat, a hair net, or a strategic planner’s green visor cap. It’s all part of the thrill of life in a small business.  No matter what your hat says think business mapping software to afford-ably supplement your business processes and add that certain ‘je ne c’est quoi’ to your whoopee pie.

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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