Map Business Online Blog

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

Premium Map Layers in Map Business Online

Map Business Online offers full-time subscribers a premium set of additional map layers. These additional layers are geographic map data options that were repeatedly requested  by the MBO user base.  To access these layers click the Blue Globe button, currently placed on the toolbar seven buttons in from the left. Select a layer and click Add to Map.

City Limits

My favorite premium layer is City Limits.  There is another city layer called Cities. We added Cities for people who require additional city names to display prominently on the map. Cities are points.  City Limits are the boundaried jurisdictions  associated with each city or town. With both city datasets you’ll expose more of them as your zoom in.

The City Limits data layer lets you edit the layer, as you would a zip code or state layer.  Simply hover over the layer in Map & Data and click the edit gear to edit line and color features or to change the labeling fonts, colors, and text.

City Limit geographies can be used as a base layer for sales territory mapping or creating areas of interest. This means you could establish territories by city limits as opposed to zip codes or counties. This can come in handy for businessmap users.  I also like turning on the city limits layer when trying to assess metropolitan areas form a nationwide zoom level.

And if you just want more city points, more than we offer with the Cities layer (they have specific display rules by zoom level), you can always import your own home-grown dataset of cities.  Be sure to include a state column in your imported city data because you never know how many Meridiths there are in the country.

Metropolitan Statistical Areas
MSA Map View
Metropolitan Statistical Areas or MSA’s are Census Bureau defined metro areas. They can be used to define marketing areas of interest around an urban district largely to support market analysis.  You could build territories using these geographies as well.  Color coded, MSA’s create a striking map of the USA and can help get a viewer’s attention.  If you look online you can find conversion charts for creating similar marketing areas out of zip codes – like converting a list of zip codes into DMA’s. You would than simply import spreadsheet to convert zip codes to DMA’s.

Census Tracts

Census Tracts are also available in the MBO additional map layer offering. Accessed the same way, Census tracts can be used to create territories, and come in handing when defining busy areas of interest in heavily populated areas like downtown Manhattan or Chicago. In urban areas Census Tracts tend to be more granular than zip codes which makes them a nice alternative to zip code maps for describing business processes.  For rural areas Census tracts tend to mirror zip codes.

School Districts

For businesses doing a lot of work for schools we’ve also included school Districts. These could be helpful for transportation companies or service organizations catering to school districts. Once again, you can establish territories based on school districts. School districts are a nice back ground for a multi-stop route planner system supporting bus transportation.

Zip 3 code

Regular zip codes are made up of five digits. I grew up in 01966.  The three digit zip code associated with 01966 is 019.  Three digit zips cover a wider area then their subset five digit zip codes. Three digit zips can be a quick and dirty way to establish zip code territories that combine zips in an organized fashion. Direct mail folks like to monitor mail deliveries by 3 digit zip codes because USPS tends to deliver  to homes in 3 digit zip areas on the same day. I’m sure the Post Office has operational methods that are organized around three digit zips but that information is classified – which means I don’t really know for sure.

Cites and Highways

The city point layer and the highway line layer are included in premium layers largely to support additional referencing over territory maps. With these layers, if you color code in your states, counties or zip codes layers, instead of making those layers transparent to show orienting background map data, you can simply drop the highway layer on top of your area of interest map. It’s an option that can keep your map looking cleaner and more focused.

Request More Layers

The premium layer button is a reminder that we pay attention to user requests. Please hit the contact us button with layer requests, if you run across any.

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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Create and Manage Franchise Sales Territories Using Map Business Online


Franchise businesses require particular business mapping features. These features are usually related to defining areas of market responsibility across franchisee operations. Map Business Online is a great solution for franchises seeking to share sales territory maps that define areas of operation.

Franchise businesses sell individual market areas that could be assigned to online stores or actual brick and mortar store fronts. Theses business opportunities come with specific products, pricing, and rules of doing business.  These franchise opportunities are sold using contracts that define exact areas of market responsibility, usually based on zip codes.  This is not to say theses franchise areas couldn’t be defined by states, counties, cities or even Census tracts or Census Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) but in general we receive inquiries for franchise territories based on zip codes. These zip code areas of responsibility are made up of designated lists of zip codes which can be turned into zip code maps that define franchise operating areas.

Franchise sales executives turn to Map Business Online for business mapping features that include:

  • The ability to define franchise market areas of responsibility by zip code
  • Alternative geographies for areas of market responsibility – County, State, Metropolitan Statistical Areas, Census Tracts, and City Limits
  • Franchise territory overlap display showing areas of territory overlap between organizations
  • Color shading by zip code or other geographic base units
  • Color coding imported location points or customer locations by symbol
  • The ability to create franchise territory assignments based on demographic data – most commonly population, medium Income, or age distribution
  • The ability to create franchise territory assignments by imported sales metrics – sales dollars by territory, customer count by territory, or other business defined metrics
  • The ability to share franchise maps via printing, image file saving, or interactive map sharing
  • The ability to perform market analysis – competitor maps, demographic analysis, expansion maps

Color Coding by Area

One of the most requested aspects of franchise territory support is color shading by zip code. Franchise sales organizations prefer to color their zip codes in a way that reflects sales responsibility or territory availability. Map Business Online enables color shading in a variety of ways.

Franchisee areas are usually created and color coded at the same time. An MBO map creator can import a list of franchise names associated with zip codes and create territories automatically. The tool also enables incremental territory construction – using your mouse and the shift key, click one zip code at a time to build your market area. You can also create franchise sales territories using a polygon tool to lasso a bunch of zips or perhaps apply the drive time tool to define a group of zip codes within a half hour’s drive time of a specified address.
Franchisee
The tool supports geographic filtering or spatial searches as well as filtering by data. Filtering by data means you could search for patterns in zip code numbers. Show me all the zip codes between 80100 and 80600 and create a territory from them.

With your territories selected, the map creator may apply naming schemes as required.   Import data calculation results into the territory name field, like total population or sales activity. Use that name field to drive map comprehension.Map Business Online let’s your team us the language of your business in maps of your business.

Franchise Territory Overlap

Whether sales territory overlap is allowed or disallowed, Map Business Online provides the tool to enable overlap.  In this way your organization has the opportunity to identify overlapping territories and address the issue as required.

Some organizations turn on the overlap tool as a hedge against creating overlap. “Oops that red zip code means I overlapped those two zips.” A simple mouse click or two, and the problem is solved.

Other organizations will allow some overlap but want to make it crystal clear where those overlapping areas are and where they are not. Still others use overlap display as a way to identify and qualify no-man’s land for future franchise development.

Sharing and Storing Map Related Images

Like many contracts, franchise business agreements describe transaction fees, services rendered, areas of responsibility, and business rules. These documents could be emailed, snail mailed, or simply placed in a folder for future reference. Maps are often included to assure clarity in defining market areas of responsibility.

Map Business Online encourages multiple methods of sharing. Static maps are sharable as embedded image files easily placed in a document or a Power Point presentation.  Franchise territory maps can be printed and filed with paper contracts. Some companies may even prefer to utilize shared interactive web map links as a way to communicate territories. And you could use  Map Business Online itself as a presentation tool should you desire it. I do it all the time.

More Functionality

There are probably many more ways MBO can support a franchise organization.  The only way we’ll know is if you ask. And if you don’t find the functionality you seek we’ll consider adding functionality if the request is in keeping with our general development direction. So don’t hesitate to ask and suggest future feature directions.

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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Map Business Online Nooks and Crannies


I’ve eaten English Muffins for breakfast many times in my life. Especially growing up, when Ma was looking for quick, cheap, and easy ways to feed four growing boys before school. I thought Thomas’ English Muffins did a great job using Nooks and Crannies as their advertising tag line. You knew exactly what they meant – you could taste it.

Well, Map Business Online has nooks and crannies too.  There’s a software developer behind every MBO nook and cranny. There are many small details and features we’ve added to our business mapping software that make it a richer, more productive mapping experience for the business mapping user.  I run into these features often, partly because I’m constantly using the product, but also because people ask questions about how to do weird things and often I’m surprised to find out that we actually can do these things.

Copy & Paste Ten Rows

The other day I was providing some training for a collection of Map Business Online team edition users. The team edition is used for shared map editing. We were looking at sales territory mapping based on counties.  We had added demographic data to the territory data base to create a demographic map. The question was asked, “How can we arrange the data in descending order by population and choose the top ten records for export.”  A fair question, and I wasn’t sure what to do.  A quick communication back to headquarters and I had my answer.  Not sure if it’s a nook or a cranny.

Viewing your territory in the Data Window, click the header of the population column until you show the records descending in order from largest to smallest.  Then arrange the data window bounding rectangle to show only your top ten records.  Then, in the lower right-hand corner click the Cut & Paste button. This launches the Copy data dialog box.  Up until now, I had not paid much attention to this box. I don’t copy and paste very often in MBO. Notice that it offers multiple choices for copying.  Choose the lower circle – Rows visible on current page. Now paste into Excel. As they say in Rockport, MA where I grew up when something was wicked easy, “Dimes, or what?”

The Power of the Data Window

Although the Map Business Online Data Window is not Excel by any stretch of the imagination, it does have some unique features that come in pretty handy.  For example, any time you create a query thereby generating a data result in the Data Window, you can take that result and turn it into a territory or an area of interest.  See the button on the Data Window tool bar that shows a green and red arrow over a blue puzzle piece. That button lets you Create new or Edit existing territories.

Using this approach, you are able to filter a dataset by a column of data pertinent only to your business, for instance just the banks in your account list, and then turn all of those geographies into a territory. This could be a nice way to create territories or areas of interest out of a master list without having to create subset data outside of MBO.

And keep in mind, the filtering capability of the data window will let you create multiple criteria for your filter.  For example, determine all of the records with greater than $5,000 in sales, in zip codes 90000 to 90599, and in zip codes 87000 to 87599. And as always the results are exportable.

One more thing – an Area of Interest and a Territory are the exact same thing in MBO. These are simply groups of zip codes, counties, or other geographic districts you’ve selected to represent a focused area of interest. I use the term Area of Interest when applying the tool to market analysis projects and the term Territory when conducting more sales oriented customer mapping projects.

Imported Data Labeling

You know you can import up to one hundred thousand records per map. And you also know that as you import these records you choose the five most important fields to show when someone hovers over the imported data points.  But if you made a mistake when you did this, or if you just want to change the fields that you show upon hover, you can do that. It’s a cranny, Granny.  Hover over your imported Data Layer in the Map & Data Tab, click the Edit Gear when it pops up.  Now along the right side of the dialog box pick the Callout folder tag. Choose Format Callouts and change your fields.

And while you’re in there, get familiar with all the various formatting buttons we’ve added there. Someday your boss is going to request some crazy way to display labels and we just might have it in there.

Imagery Nooks

While you’re in Map & Data, click Map Options along the top to review the imagery options available. Imagery and Streets are new and provide a nice overlay that can combine street level detail with aerial imagery. Very cool in downtown urban areas.

To view more map back ground options, back out to the opening page of Map & Data.  Hover over the Street layer and click the edit gear.  Here you will find two topographic map view options.  One is National Geographic data and the other more of a generic topo quad map.

I’ve run out of blog words and time for this week, but there are many nooks and crannies to Map Business Online. Just don’t go smearing pads of butter on your mapping software. That’s no good for any one. Instead, consider opening up a new map view and just click around. Explore the nooks and crannies that support your business mapping work.

Remember in MBO you can:

  • Import your own symbols
  • Edit data you’ve imported
  • Add incremental records to the map manually
  • Print regular or large format maps
  • Draw free form shapes in the map
  • Summarize your data
  • Export your data query results
  • Add demographic data to your map
  • Share interactive web maps
  • Create map templates
  • Impress family and friends

 

 

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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Summarize Your Data by Zip Code, County or State Map Layer


New to our blog? Each week we try to talk about Map Business Online features or real world applications of our business mapping software. Occasionally we might touch on a subject outside of business mapping software. We try to keep it light and quick. You should find a video or map samples to help explain things. Some times we get silly – apologies for that.

We view Map Business Online as an affordable business mapping solution helping basic business users to access the power of location-based or geographic views of their business data. The tool is used for sales territory creation and management, business analysis, strategic and operation planning. These map data visualizations are most often accessed by simply importing an Excel spreadsheet of your business data. The tool includes demographic data, a variety of geographic map layers like zip codes and Census tracts, and comprehensive help documentation with links to our growing YouTube video library.

A few weeks back MapBusinessOnline.com experienced one of our regular quarterly updates. One of the new features was the ability to summarize data by County, State or Zip code.

Summary data is nice to include in reports or business presentations. Summarizing both visually and using a numeric table gives you a couple off different approaches for communicating information to your business map audience.
SummarizePic
This capability to summarize data was inserted into the first page of the Color Code by Point, Color Code by Circle, and Color Code by Chart dialogs. This new option confused a few people, who were used to starting with the select data column option. If you want to use the Color Code by Point option in your usual way just click Next at the summarize page and carry on as usual.

However, if you’d like to summarize sales dollars by state and data count by county, for instance, choose county as you pass through your summarize by geography option. By doing so, all of the points associated with a county will be consolidated into one point for each county. You could then choose to color code by map layer for the state layer and summarize numeric values by state as well. In this way you could summarize dollars by county and total count by state or some other really cool combinations. See the video for a demonstration.

Summarizing your data by geographic districts means the color coding process will consolidate your imported data by district and place one point in the middle of that district instead of a group of points, like the address points in your data. So, if you summarized 1000 address points of sales data you’ve imported for New England by state, then all your records would be summarized for the six New England states by placing six different colored points across New England.

There’s an additional Map Business Online Summary option you can choose, that’s also new. If you are viewing imported data or a territory in the Data Window, you’ll notice a Summary button on the lower right. Look for the Sum button – Summary in the lower right. Upon opening the Summary function in the data window you will be presented with the opportunity to import data from our demographic library or from data that you may have imported. Add these to your summary column as required and then export. This is another great tool for generating reports that sum up data columns based on the geography you have defined in the data window via query results.

The next time you fire up Map Business Online be sure to explore summary options for symbolization and for summary reporting. They are both nice tools to have in your bag of business map tricks.

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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Five Steps to Creating a Valuable Customer Map from Business Data

Business mapping software is all about the data visualization of your business data. Business owners and sales managers are deriving business intelligence and strategies by viewing their business data against an accurate base map. So, what are the best ways to start building a useful business map?

Customer mapping starts and ends with your location based business data spreadsheet:
1. Include Addresses – Create an Excel spreadsheet of your business data that includes address records. Don’t skimp on the address data. I know, you’re a busy person and zip codes should be good enough. But if you’ve got addresses in your data, use them. Create columns in your spreadsheet for address, city, state and zip code. Alternatively you can use latitude and longitude coordinates, which are even more accurate.

By using full addressing you’re providing your business map with the most realistic visualization of your critical business locations. If you simply list zip codes, you’ll get multiple business data points located at the same location. That’s not your business reality. Keep it real, bro.

2. Include Additional Data – Include with your imported business location data any pertinent information that informs your business decisions. Perhaps include a column showing sales associated with each location. Does each customer falls into a certain category or type: retail, industrial, government? On your map you’ll be able to color code based on the data types or numeric ranges included in your additional data columns.

3. Consider importing your own symbols – Perhaps customer logo images or product jpegs will help you’re your business map quickly communicate critical data to your business map audience. Medical maps often use medical symbology to reflect clinician disciplines – A stethoscope image for doctors, life saving symbols for nurses, and a tooth for the dentist. Your map should quickly communicate to your map users. Make your map sing to your map viewers.

4. Define Coverage Areas – Areas of interest, sales territories, and medical coverage areas can be easily displayed as a function of an imported location data sheet. If zip codes, counties or even Census tracts define your coverage areas, you can include a column in your data that defines those location segments. For instances, a list of zip codes for an entire home care coverage area, with another column for any preassigned CNA’s, will provide a coverage area map that displays the designated accountable nurse managing each zip code area. The zips will be colored according to the map legend or key.

5. Double check your data – I know. It’s you. You never screw up. But the old adage ‘garbage in, garbage out’ still applies. Make sure you don’t leave empty records where information should go. Glance at your addressing data – does it look right? No weird country abbreviations are included by mistake, right? It happens. A lot. Take your time and double check that the data you are importing is solid, location based information. Your map and your map viewers will thank you.

The Wrap Up
Your location based data sets are the key elements in deriving new perspectives on your business from business mapping. So think it through. An excel spreadsheet of zip codes doesn’t tell you much about where your customers are versus where your competitors are until you import them onto a map and visually absorb the information. You’ll be amazed at what a zip code mapping tool, like Map Business Online will do for your perspective.

Imagine going on an automobile trip around New England with your family for a week. Would you bring just a spreadsheet of all the planned stops and use that to navigate and determine driving times? No way. Your significant other would significantly kill you. A travel map can help pull a family through a vacation and ready them to face the next crisis in their personal drama called life. Wait. Did I say that out loud? Well anyway, it’s the same with a business map. Turn that spreadsheet into a data filled business map and start viewing your business strategically.

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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Label Your Map Like You Mean It, Using Map Business Online


As you know, business mapping software is all about data visualizations. Business data imported into Map Business Online provides our business users with views of their competitors, staff, customers, and prospects. All of those points require labeling options.

With larger datasets, more than just ten or twenty records, we discourage turning on all labels at once. Labels can overwhelm a map and the map becomes meaningless when all you can see are labels. But we do allow the user to hover over a point and view a label with five flexible fields that display the information you feel is primary to your map goals. And if you really want to, have at it and turn on all those labels. It’s your map after all.

MBO provides multiple opportunities to customize the labeling of your imported business data points when mapping multiple locations. Included in these location point label features are MBO’s latest capabilities associated with adjusting the Callout Tag. In general we divide location labeling into three types:

Label – These are labeling tags associated with zip code, county or state districts. For example, each state shows a state label within the state.

Callout – Callouts are label tags that popup when you mouse over an object, point, or a district
Territory Labels – Territory labels act the same as regular labels do but are associated specifically with the territories you’ve created while sales territory mapping.

All naming tags and labels in MBO can be turned off and on. With regard to map layers like zip codes and states, you have the power to determine when those labels appear based on zoom level. Hover your mouse over the layer in question and click the Edit Gear. Choose the Label tag along the right side, and use the bottom function to control whether or not labels show, their size and font, and at which zoom level they appear. At each zoom level, the application will automatically decide which labels show and when labels don’t display, to control map clutter and label overlap.

The Callout Tag Enhancements
Callout tags are pop-up labels that occur when you hover over an imported layer point or a district like a zip code. We recently enhanced our callout tag features so that the user has more control over the size of the call out and how the text is displayed.

To access Callout Tag editing, in the Map and Data Tab hover over the layer and click the Edit Gear. You can now control callouts by adjusting:

• Callout tag size, and position
• Callout tag font, and text enhancements
• Callout tag color backgrounds
• Callout tag data sources and formats

Adding Sales Dollars to Territory Labels
Territories are usually built based on zip codes, counties or state map layers – or other map layers available in the Add Map Layers option. So when you want to add a calculation or numeric update to your territory label, once again, hover over the related map layer and click the Edit Gear. Select the Label option along the right side and then choose Format Labels.
Now choose Territory Labels. From Territory labels you will see below an option to link with your imported data layer. Choose the column that contains your numeric sales data. Feel free to edit the label text – like adding a “$” sign or maybe the words “Q2 Results.” After you’ve finished click Change Labels and see your data now populated in the territory label on the map. This is my favorite feature in Map Business Online, except the ability to import Jpegs as symbols so I can build a map dedicated just to Don Knotts. See video.
Barney Fife
Grow Your Own Symbols
Map Business Online let’s you choose your own symbols and add them to the available library of symbol options. Your industry may have its own library of standard symbols to choose from. As long as the symbols are of reasonable size, in Jpeg or bitmap format, you can import them for use on the map as mappoints.

To do this, you should have already selected a jpeg image and saved it to you desktop somewhere. Then in MBO simply click into the Symbol library where ever a symbol is available (color code by point, the Data Window) and scroll to the top of the library. Choose Custom Symbol and import your symbol pic into the library.

Editable Legend
And speaking of labeling, let’s not forget, that the map legend is entirely editable in Map Business Online. Use this tool to make your final map speak to your map audience. The legend pulls together your entire map presentation by allowing you to spin your message using terms your audience understands. Click that little circle in the upper right corner of the Map Legend and edit the points and layer names. You won’t regret it.

Your map viewers will never remember a confused, overwhelming map, but if you use MBO to make your map speak to your audience in terms they understand, they’ll always come to you for maps that help. You’ll be like the mad map maven, or the map-meister – at last known for something.

You should find the labeling of your imported data layers or on map geographic districts to be pretty straight forward. Click the help button for more suggestions or go to our Youtube video library for more approaches.

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, g2crowd

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Map Business Online and Your Data Security

For good reason both large and small businesses are worried about data security. It feels like we read about data breaches in the news almost every day. While at the same time, desktop software is steadily giving way to web-based or cloud service software because cloud services require less infrastructure, software updates are automatic, and these online tools are usually much more affordable. How can a business decision maker reconcile these two trends and feel their business data is safe and secure?

Data security at its most fundamental requires that business managers remain both cognizant and vigilant. We must stay aware of the challenges facing data privacy and be on guard for missteps and violations. Part of data vigilance is making sure certain business data sets are never uploaded to shared applications – on the desktop or the web. Personal data like social security numbers, credit card account numbers, and patient identity data are all extremely private and should never be used in a business mapping application. Make sure your business’ super sensitive data is never released for business analysis. Be vigilant by establishing and adhering to strict rules around your sensitive data management and make sure all employees and contractors adhere to your policies.

Map Business Online Data Protections
Here at Map Business Online, a web-based cloud service, we take data security very seriously. Our customers come to us from health care, financial services, national retail chains, franchise organizations, and a host of other vertical markets. So whether we’re talking about HIPAA concerns, bank accounts, credit card data, or just business intelligence, our customers share a strong desire to keep their business data well protected. Our customers depend on our data security vigilance.
MapBusinessOnline.com is a business data visualization tool. Data visualization is the core value of business mapping software. So, if you are using a businessmap, you are using it specifically to import business data onto a map, usually to develop shared data visualizations for constituents, clients, and employees.

Map Business Online collects certain personal information such as your name, e-mail address, and postal address, in our registration processes, to improve the services we offer to you, to communicate with you about Map Business Online services, and to provide effective customer support when needed.

When you plot a database on a digital map using Map Business Online we process the data on our servers. We extract only the data columns that you designate to be used on the map. We delete original data files immediately after the designated data has been extracted. We store selected data columns for you in our access-protected-database in encrypted form.

Encryption

Any and all data that is imported into Map Business Online is encrypted. Not all Cloud services provide encryption. Map Business Online applies best practices, standard data encryption algorithms that work at the account level and make routine business mapping sessions extremely difficult for evil doers to access.

Cloud Hosted Services

Software products typically offered as a Cloud or web-based service are served over the Internet by a cloud hosting agent. Map Business Online is hosted by Microsoft Azure, out of Atlanta, GA. Microsoft Azure is reliable, advanced, fast, and provides security compliant protocols that protect client software platforms and assure general security compliance for hosted applications. This means applications served up over the Azure cloud can comply with specific industry security requirements. Read more here: Microsoft Azure

Azure is one of several large and secure hosting agents available in the USA. Any of these cloud services spend a great deal of time and money making sure all of their services are secure. Map Business Online engineers comply with Azure policies and recommendations to assure hosting services remain secure across all transactions.

Secure Socket Layer (SSL) Protocols

MapBusinessOnline applies Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protocols to all business mapping web sessions specifically to protect user security across all transactions. SSL ensures that all business transactions, be they e-commerce or data analysis related, are kept private. Look for the S after HTTP in web URLs, and check for the Pad Lock symbol on any website to make sure SSL security settings are in place. Click the Globe icon to the left of our URL text to read about MBO security settings. Read more about SSL security protocols here: https://www.globalsign.com/en/ssl-information-center/what-is-ssl/

Map Business Online requires that all users logging into the application use their email address and a specific password. Your password prevents random users from accessing your account and viewing your maps and imported data layers. In fact, Map Business Online software engineers and employees cannot access your maps or view your business data. We have metering tools that let us monitor how much data you’ve imported, how many maps you’ve stored, how many routes you’ve developed but we cannot access your maps without security keys and software development.

The only way evil doers can access your saved MBO maps is if you provide them with your login credentials including the correct password. MBO does allow for shared web maps, and shared business map URL’s include password protection options. We encourage all business map users to share maps and imported business data only under password protection. And, if your data is not for public viewing consider not sharing it at all.

We can’t claim that Map Business Online is not 100% secure from privacy and data violation events. No cloud software service or desktop software can provide that level of protection. But through vigilance and through the assignment of proactive controls over your data sharing activities your business can remain confident that your business is at minimal risk of a major data breach through our business mapping services.

We encourage your feedback, questions, or suggestions about data security or any other business related matter.

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, g2crowd

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Organize the Sales Pipeline by Geography

Many businesses invest in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems that store customer contact data and compile customer sales potential into a sales pipeline. If your business has installed a CRM that now feeds a robust sales pipeline you are to be congratulated. However, you may be surprised to find that a CRM and a sales pipeline do not always drive the sales results you had imagined. This essay suggests you that take the next step in the sales process and connect that sales pipeline to geography through sales territory mapping. Connecting your sales pipeline to a business map plants the seeds your future sales in fertile soil.

Dividing your organization’s sales coverage into sales territories may seem a daunting challenge to the uninitiated. Especially considering the myriad of software products business managers have to evaluate, install, and master these days. The good news is that there are business-mapping options available that make it easy and fast for you to institute geographic sales territory management within your organization. You will find that the benefits of establishing sales territories by geography can be significant:

Accountability – Sales territory management helps define and direct sales accountability
Shared Objectives & Results – Use sales territories to display team objectives, and results
Fight Chaos – Lack of a sales territory map invites chaos and infighting, a deadly distraction to sales growth
Visualize Customers & Prospects – Sales territories are a platform for customer and prospect visualizations
Agent for Change – Sales territories act as guides that can be adjusted to redirect and hone the sales effort

Drive Accountability
A well-defined sales territory management scheme defines the rules of the game for your sales team. It tells them where they can and can’t go, and when they get credit for the sale. It can display areas of allowable overlap or define clear boundary lines that can’t be crossed. It helps the sales team clearly understand who is running the show – hint: it’s not the sales team. Armed with this critical information the sales reps can focus on planning their month and selling.
Sales territories can provide template-maps for navigation planning. Each rep should be able to access their territory map and divvy up their business according to their unique style and their specific job description. Clear guidelines and planning tools promote accountability and accountability drives results.

Share Results
Clear sales objectives with quarterly results postings are critical to the success of your sales team. Your sales territory map can provide a public place to post sales objectives for all to view. With a clear objective in place, monthly or quarterly postings of sales results by territory will naturally establish the pace of success for your sales team. Sales accountability is now defined on this shared sales map where performance will be fairly measured. Posted results are anxiously awaited by all sales teams. Ritualize this activity.

There is no better way to communicate results than by posting a clearly defined territory map showing each sales rep’s quarterly results in sales dollars by region. And believe it or not, posting this information can take less than a minute. A sales pipeline with posted results married to geography defines accountability, driving results. This is your sales plan in action.

Have the Wisdom to Change
Sales objectives are not easily defined. It takes preparation, data, and thought; and it takes buy-off from your sales team. That’s why you want to apply visual controls that enforce rules and encourage performance. With territories clearly established, if Salesperson A’s territory doesn’t perform close to goals set for Q1, you have clear evidence defining the problem and the tools to quickly adjust A’s area of responsibility for Q2. Sales territories aren’t etched in polished granite. If sales aren’t happening after a period of clear effort, have the wisdom and the courage to change things. Good leadership has the ability to recognize the need for change and to appropriately apply it. Address inefficiencies, obstacles, and unfair assignments based on clear evidence. Your reps will thank you. Territory mapping creates order and order enables change when and where necessary. Your sales plan is now flexible.

From Chaos to Visual Accountability
Even if your sales team is made up of inside sales, non-traveling representatives, your sales pipeline can benefit from geographic based territory planning.

I once worked for a sales organization that should have applied geographic territory tools to help manage their sales pipeline. They hired Gurus, invested in Salesforce.com, and regularly screamed at us. Monthly sales meetings were held to review pipeline opportunities with no visual accountability. Account lists existed as random assignments with no basis in geography at all. Progress toward goals was slow and ultimately tanked. Leadership tended to focus on a few larger opportunities, quickly polling the group for status and next steps. Lower tier opportunities were never reviewed in detail. They forgot that lower tier opportunities, filled with painful objections and obstacles, are the beginning of tomorrow’s outstanding sales achievements.

By restructuring sales opportunities into geographic territories, sales objectives are displayed by region and sales person. Individual opportunities can be classified and color coded by type or even by blocking issue, facilitating a more helpful discussion, reinforcing accountability and driving results. Shared views of sales territories naturally promote sales accountability. Again, visual sales accountability drives results.

Without sales territory management your sales team may be adrift. The visual aid of territory maps expands personal accountability, informing daily sales activities. When you eliminate doubt about who gets credit for sales efforts productivity and sales numbers naturally go up. The focus returns to assigned accounts and prospects and how to convert them into sales achievements.

Implementation
Frankly, you are going to spend more time selecting a business mapping software then you are setting it up. Your preparation for sales territory management includes the following:

• Decide which geographic segments best represent your territories and regions – state, county or zip code. There are additional options but those are the most common.
• An accurate list of your current customers and prospects by location is helpful. These can be used as a guide for territory set-up and later for activity planning. I recommend customer map locations by address, city, state and zip. Why not be as accurate as possible?
• If you have a spreadsheet of current assigned territories, by all means use it. If you already have a spreadsheet that lists zip codes and territory names you can immediately import this list to create territories

Your process for set-up involves importing spreadsheets to automatically create territories and conducting polygon queries of administrative districts (usually zip codes) to create territories. You should be able to define areas of overlap, which may or may not be allowed in your business. Once those base level sales territories are established you can begin posting sales results by territory on a periodic basis.
Consider adding demographic data to help standardize or optimize territory sizes. Add other map layers to your territory map like city and highway layers. Adjust all labels on the territory map to reflect messages that resonate with your team. A great business mapping software will help you customize your map message to your map audience.

Now you can also share your territory map views with your constituents. Get feedback from your sales team, your management group and your peers.

Now post those results and help your sale pipeline grow.

For more information on using Map Business Online for sales territory management see these posts:
MBO Sales Territory Manual
Sales Territory Map for Elvis
Five Ways Territory Mapping Software will Improve Your Business
Sales Territory Mapping Where Do I Start

______________________________________________________________________________
Let a digital map help you learn about your business

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, g2crowd

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Presentations Using Business Mapping Software

On occasion business mapping customers and Map Business Online users get asked by their higher-ups to generate a presentation based on map views. That means it’s time for you to test your new map skills in front of your peers, and your executive team. Gulp.

Fear not! For as Shakespeare said, “Of those presenting to their King, none have fared better than the lowly cartographer – for he paints the world as the King would have it.” Ok. I made that up. But let’s imagine that’s how the Bard felt about maps. Maps are business intelligence. Map makers, therefore are keepers and communicators of business intelligence. So, show your peeps some intel.

You have two digital options for presenting map views to your executive team – use Power Point or some similar slide presentation software, or use Map Business Online itself. In either case I will reiterate my usual caveats:
• Keep the map simple – don’t try to over communicate
• Color code points to describe categories or classifications of things. Color code types of customers, products, or vendors. Do not color code individuals or store names which creates map clutter and invites derision or worse
• As a rule, import no more than four data layers per map and use different symbolization schemes to display each layer
• Use the map legend editing tools to cater to your audience. Your map should speak your audience’s language

In general, a chaotic map presentation that misses the mark means you won’t be asked back. A clean and simple map presentation that delivers the desired message(s) makes you look like a reliable authority. Maps are data visualizations. Maps clarify concepts through geographic display.

Embed Your Map Views in PowerPoint Slide Shows
Slide shows are effective ways to communicate business plans. Your map may show sales results, it may add value to strategic planning meetings, or it could show market statistics in support of product development plans. There are many reasons your boss wants a map. Slide shows, like PowerPoint, allow you to present map views in stages. Take advantage of this by building one to six map views that tell a developing story.

• Build several slides describing last year’s sales, year-to-date sales, and projected sales
• Create a series of slides that show existing customers, prospective customers, and then sales representative base or home locations
• Build maps that show product sales for 2014, new product inventories by store locations, and competitive product locations

Any of these slide show map views will contain a mix of your imported business data layers and map layers derived from the business mapping application. For instance, you’ll import your customer data, prospect data and competitor data while using the map application to display key demographic map layers, zip code maps, and city names.

Use your slide show tool to clearly state your discussion points. Then show a simple map slide that backs up your point. By using a text slide followed by several map slides in sequence, your audience will stay awake. Always keep text slides a brief as possible – avoid more than one line of text per thought. Keep your bullets limited to three, if you can.

If you find yourself editing paragraphs of text and adding more and more salient points, start over. Your presentation is going to fail. Do not do this:
• Write long and detailed lines of text that show how informed and smart you are
• Cram as many points into your slide as the slide parameters allow
• Try to impress your audience with all of the various aspects of your topic that you can list (Yawn)
• Create slides who’s content continues into the next slide

Instead do this:
• Be succinct
• Use 3 points/slide
• Focus on money (Bosses love that)

Use the Save Map Image to File button to create images for use in slide shows (that’s the globe with floppy disk icon to the right of the Print Button). I typically save my map view as a PNG file for use in PowerPoint, but Jpegs work too. Sometimes I’ll use the Print Screen keyboard button to copy my image and paste it into PowerPoint – but that captures everything on your screen. You could also use the Windows accessory Snipping Tool to grab images, and I have a subscription to SnagIt which comes in handy especially for video captures.

Using Map Business Online to Present
“Use the Force to present to your master, young padawan.” – Yoda on Swagellian, 2655
Ok I made up that one too, but if you are gaining confidence in your abilities using Map Business Online you could use the application in conjunction with the Force to present to your team. First, make sure you have a solid Internet connection. If not, go back to slide sharing.

Use Map Business Online to create the map you’d like to share. Use various data layers to make your series of points. Turn on one data layer at a time to describe each business point.
• Start with a map of your area of interest – perhaps a territory map
• In the Map & Data Tab click on the locations of all of your branches or stores – small circles on the map, perhaps color coded by product or type
• Now click on an imported data layer of your competitor locations
• Finally click on a heat map symbolized display of sales by location – that always wakes them up

Keep in mind, with any MBO map you could utilize various administrative layers to color code and display different aspects of your business. Turn on zip codes for territory layers, and counties for a demographic median income view.

Microsoft still supports PowerPoint unlike MapPoint. MapBusinessOnline.com will provide even better PowerPoint presentation graphics than MapPoint. MBO is web-based, maps for Mac or PC, and our data is updated regularly.

The Wrap Up
Regardless of how you do it remember:
• KISS – Keep it simple stupid
• Don’t try to solve all problems with one map. Consider one for sales, another for operations etc.
• Don’t drone on and on. Keep it lively.
• I sometimes insert random images in my presentations to wake up the audience. Here’s one that always worked. Feel fee to use it.
Barney Fife

But remember, I’m not the one risking all in their map presentation, you are.

______________________________________________________________________________
Let a digital map help you learn about your business

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, g2crowd

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SpatialTEQ Releases MapBusinessOnline.com 4.4 – City & Road Territory Overlays, and Expanded Map Limits & Controls for Team Users

LOWELL, MA (January 20, 2015) — Map Publisher SpatialTEQ Inc. today announced the release of MapBusinessOnline.com 4.4 – affordable business mapping software for sales, marketing and territory planning professionals in the U.S.A., Canada and the U.K.. With MapBusinessOnline.com 4.4 MBO users will be able to overlay vector layers of cities and roads on top of sales territory maps, demographic maps or business planning maps. In addition, 4.4 provides a series of enhanced account management tools controlling the set-up of map editing teams, groups of annual subscribers interested in sharing map editing capabilities.

Road & City Vector Layers
City and road vector layers are new optional vector layers that provide accurate, labeled line and point layers to be used as overlays on user maps. This frequently requested feature adds additional visual references to advanced business mapping applications, like sales territory management. MBO map editors will be able to clearly define and display road networks that are relevant to their map’s mission. For instance, a major highway vector might be used to define general areas of sales responsibility on a sales territory map. Or city labels can provide obvious reference points for urban areas without covering shaded areas with boundaries or additional coloring. The user will be able to pick and choose street or city layers from a list of additional map layers. Sources for additional map layers include © OpenStreetMap contributors data. New vector layers are powered by SpatialTEQ’s proprietary FastMappingServer (FMS) map-attribute rendering engine.

Team Account Management
MBO 4.4 team account management, for annual subscribers only, will enable easier purchasing and upgrading options so that businesses can easily move users into and out of team editing groups. Controls will enable the selection of total user quantities at discounted prices. MBO team users will now receive additional map allowances including up to 400 saved maps per user, and up to 2400 MapShare sessions per user per year. MBO users will be able to purchase additional shared maps and multi-stop routing allocations. MBO 4.4 provides users with the ability to shift account log-in credentials from one email address to another.

Sales Territory Planning
Sales territory mapping functionality includes the ability to add demographic categories to territory data breakdowns, enabling views of total demographic values by territory. Easy territory creation workflows leverage demographic totals by territory; for instance MBO 4.4 users will be able to note total population by territory or total income by territory. Demographic layers and territories can be compiled by city, county, zip code, zip3, state and Census tract.

About Map Business Online
From the creators of BusinessMAP, http://www.MapBusinessOnline.com has been providing sales & marketing professionals with affordable and intuitive business mapping software, retail and customer mapping software for Macs and PCs since 2010. Design, edit, and share maps that reflect your business. Create and manage sales territories that drive accountability into your sales force. Replace discontinued Microsoft MapPoint with MapBusinessOnline. Access optimized multi-stop routes to control travel costs. No other map software solves so much for so little.

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

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