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

Advertisements

Filed under: Uncategorized, , , , , , , ,

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

Filed under: Uncategorized, , , , ,

Creating Territory Map Data in Map Business Online

One of the most popular applications of business mapping is sales territory mapping. In Map Business Online you can create sales territories or market areas of interest in a variety of ways. You can import a list by zip code, county or state; create a drive time polygon of zip codes; use a polygon tool to lasso a bunch of zips, or incrementally select a bunch of zips with a series of mouse clicks.  Each of these processes will result in a color defined, shaded area of zip codes, counties, or states that define your sales territory.

That sales territory will have a data view within the Data Window in Map Business Online.  That Data Window Territory Data View is easily accessed by dropping done on the data drop down and choosing your territory by Name. Once inside that territory data you have an array of options to choose from for data selection and data clean up.

In the lower right of the Territory Data view, choose More Data. This launches a database management tool. Columns on the right exist in your territory data. Move columns you don’t require to the left. These might include “Primary” County or State columns which can be used to help manage zip code overlap. Simply select the data and use the Blue Arrows to move the data out or into your analysis.
Territory Map Data
Above the right hand column you’ll see a Drop Down arrow. Here you can choose from Demographic Data, General Data (this includes your territory names). You can also access any data you’ve imported or perhaps Calculated Columns you’ve compiled out of our demographic population, age or income segments. As you select these categories various layers become available in the left hand column for transfer to the right side. For example, you might see Household Income as an option and pull that data over to the right to create a Household Income by Zip code analysis.

Any data you pull into that specific territory becomes a data template for all other territories you create that uses that geographic segment in that saved map. In other words, if you build a new territory it will reflect the same demographic and imported data options as the first one does.

In this way your territory map becomes more valuable as a business management tool. For instance, you could optimize all your territories by population, using the Total button in the Territory Data view to show the total population by territory. Now any territory you create will display a population total in the data analysis view. Hint: You could edit the zip code layer so that same population total displays in the Territory Label. This would make it easy to assess population values by territory for optimization purposes.

As long as you have selected USPS Zip codes as your Zip code standard (see Map & Data – Zip Codes Tab) you will see “Place name” as a column in your territory data. Place name is really city name and those city names are often helpful to MBO territory map users.  Zip code maps are a powerful and common application of Business Mapping Software.

Remember too, once your territories are final and your data formats are complete you can export the entire list of territory data for use outside the application. Demographic data and all.

Above, I refer to Area of Interest as another name for territory, and so it is. These same data views can be considered as market analysis for specific geographic areas of interest. You may not think of it as a territory, but these tools work in the exact same way.  Your retail store has a market area of interest and you’ll have the exact same interest in sales results, demographic realities, and drive time perimeters as a territory manager would.

Nary a day goes by when I don’t show a new user how to build a territory and format their territory data. MBO provides powerful territory mapping tools at an extremely affordable price.

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

Filed under: Uncategorized, , , , , ,

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

Filed under: Uncategorized, , , , , , ,

A Change Can Do You Good – with Business Mapping

Managing change is critical to your organization’s ability to grow and achieve goals. Change is also inevitable, like death and taxes, right? Change has to be managed – as a business manager you can’t just let things change and do nothing about it. Sometimes change has to be pro-actively implemented. If your current business model is no longer achieving what it used to, then a change is required. On occasion change can be sudden and, as a manager, it’s your job to help lead the organization out of any crisis.

But Cheryl Crow was right when she sang, “A change (pause) will do you good.” Sudden or gradual, good or bad, changes in our business environment inform us about our business. Because understanding your business better is always good.

A downturn in the economy can quickly tell us that the company payroll and operating expenses are oversized for our target market. A gradual decline of sales in a market niche tells us we need to change our sales strategy. Reacting appropriately and reacting quickly can turn a threat into a business opportunity. Responding to change can turn the loss of a customer into the discovery of new markets. You see, it’s good!

Business mapping software provides analysis tools that can help unravel market shifts and provide clues as to what business direction to take next. Map data visualizations and location-based analysis suggest new directions in the face of old and failing business patterns. Don’t make the mistake of implementing radical strategic change in your business without spending time viewing your location-based data against a business map. Regardless of what business mapping application you use, today’s tools are completely affordable. There’s really no excuse not to take the time to import your business data onto a web-based business map and look at it. Then spend some time considering what you see.

When I Was a Boy…
When I first moved to Maine I worked for an industrial electrical wholesaler that catered to the paper mill industry. Business was great. The paper mills were major employers in Maine and they purchased lots of industrial electrical parts. The whole world needed paper back then. About six months after I came on I was introduced to my first IBM business PC. A strange looking machine with its own huge table at the back of the office. No email yet, no Internet, but that large piece of equipment held the seeds of the decline of the paper industry. Unbeknownst to us, big change was coming.

Thirty years later, with the paper businesses largely gone, Maine’s industrial wholesalers are somehow still selling industrial products. Many have merged with national chains to assure survival, but all of them learned to sell products into new and growing industries – biotech, telecom, local food, alternative energy, and health care industries to name just a few. Most of these industries didn’t exist in 1985, including business mapping software.

In 2007 I was managing a mapping software publisher’s professional sales team. Much of our revenue was generated from the oil and gas industry. That year our team noticed orders coming in from wind energy companies. When we mapped their locations we saw new wind energy businesses located all over the country, but coming to use for low cost GIS software. We sent sales people to meet with these new accounts. We decided to exhibit at the American Wind Energy Association. By paying attention, conducting some basic map market analysis, and acting immediately, our team was one of the first to market in the booming wind energy field. For two years that revenue stream helped us meet our sales objectives.

Like a Shark, Keep Moving Forward
There are many ways a business map can help a business navigate or manifest significant change. Here are some real life examples:

Franchise Organizations utilize several geographic visualization features from mapping software. Typically they like to arrange franchise territories by zip code maps. A shared web map can provide a dirt simple visualization of zip code sales territories for new franchise owners, keeping the competing retailers or service orgs out of each other’s way. Additionally, a franchiser might use a business map to explore potential new markets through demographic analysis by zip code or county, or by setting up competitor franchise maps that show where they might do well by increasing their presence around the nation. At times, a franchise company may choose to manage their franchise sales by color coding zip codes, red and green zip codes denote sold or available territories. Although these companies tend to use zip codes, any district geography like counties or Census tracts, would do.

Cross Industry Sales & Marketing Teams – Competitor maps should be a basic tool for any sales or marketing department. It’s quite simple. Compile a spreadsheet of your top ten competitors by address. Import the spreadsheet into your business map application and view those competitor points on the map. Add some demographic data; perhaps population and median income. Add a spreadsheet of your own company’s locations. Now sit back and think about what you are seeing. If there are areas where your competitor exists and you don’t what should you do? Open a store? Hire an outside sales person? Conduct a direct mail campaign? Or perhaps, based on demographic trends, you should skip that area and focus on more lucrative markets. Sometimes I hear people complain about what a chore it will be to compile those competitor addresses. Ever wonder if your competitor took the time to compile a map of your locations?

Retail StoresDrive time maps come in handy for market analysis simply because driving time is always a consideration for measuring retail store potential or sales call efficiency. The question answered by a drive time query is, “How long will it take a customer to drive from their home or office to my store location?” Think like a pizza store. There’s got to be a sweet spot for customer driving time to pick up a pizza. I’d drive ten minutes to buy a pizza, but I probably would not drive a half hour (especially with kids under the age of ten in the car.) Now reverse the analysis and consider how far you want to drive to deliver pizza or how far your sales people should drive to talk to a customer. Windshield time vs. talk time should always be a consideration. Maps can help us assess how many possible customers live within a radius of our sales force and how likely it would be to interface with them.

Health Care Expansion Planning – Expansion happens constantly in the healthcare field. As hospitals and insurance companies expand into new markets and adjust to the Affordable Care Act, they are forced to consider how they will interface with related medical businesses within any new market areas. It’s not unusual for hospital systems to create business analysis maps that display every possible medical business within a 25 mile radius of a hospital center. This radius analysis compares the customer and ambulance drive times with rural medical coverage areas, home care agencies, and quick care opportunities, thereby providing a geographic starting point for strategic expansion planning. Market expansion possibilities are side-by-side with operational realities in a map like this. Medical systems are complex and maps help to organize complexity into a business strategy.

Business Listings are often used to describe a market’s potential or to populate a business area of interest with potential customers. Business maps may or may not offer business listings but you can always secure datasets through online services like http://www.infousa.com, http://www.specialdatabases.com, or https://www.dandb.com. Add a list of potential customer addresses into your business mapping software to your market analysis maps. Apply the business mapping filtering tools to develop and manage call lists across your sales organization. A small investment in a target area prospect list will provide new objectives for your sales team and ultimately should lead to new industries that require your products and services.

There are many ways in which technology can help us face change effectively. Mapping software is one tool that is available, relatively easy to use, and affordable. If you’re using spreadsheets and web browsers you are capable of using business mapping software. At the pace our business mapping software is growing, I can assure you that others in your industry are considering their business by looking at a business map.

Don’t wait for change to happen to you. Take control over your business direction. Start business mapping before your competitors do.

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

Filed under: Uncategorized, , , , ,

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

Filed under: Business Mapping Software blog post, Uncategorized, , , , , , , ,

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

Filed under: Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , ,

Predicting the Future with Business Mapping Software


As a business manager I’ve always wished I could predict the future. Visualizing the next big thing could greatly improve my business decision making. But the reality is I can’t just dream-up where all my new customers will be next year. I need something more scientific to do that.

Map Visualizations Better Than a Ouija Board
As it turns out, business mapping software may be just scientific enough. I can start by importing a spreadsheet of current customer addresses and visualize where all my customers are located today. This is sometimes called customer mapping. Customer densities appear – areas where our customers tend to congregate on the map. That map now clearly defines where our customers are located and, more importantly, where they are not located. And where customers are not is where I predict they will be in the future.

I can add to my map view a simple demographics by zip code layer that displays population gradations by a selection of zip codes. Now I can consider where large populations are concentrated and where our current customer densities are light. Knowing that our product offering is applicable to almost any sales and marketing organization I can safely assume that areas where we are not doing business is related more to customer awareness than to geographic eccentricities that might preclude the use of MBO. It’s like selling toilets to town residents with no plumbing, you know they want toilets but they haven’t got the hook ups yet. Fortunately I’m in the mapping business.

Maps Inform Good Business Decisions
So my business decisions will be focused on areas where we think we can sell more. Those decisions might include:
• Hiring a sales calling service to focus on a few target areas of high population densities where we see low MBO user densities
• Launching an advertising insert into the local papers in those low density areas to generate some interest
• Set up a MBO roadside hot dog stand manned by scantily clad male and female millennials during the B2B weekday lunch hour in those low density districts

Expansion Planning
But I’ve got large business customers that require more face-to-face time. A few traveling sales people might be just the ticket to land some big companies and drive more respectable testimonials. So we’ve interviewed several prospects and they’ll be coming on board shortly. To accommodate their sales capabilities and manage their time we’re tapping into Map Business Onlines’s sales territory mapping capabilities. We’ve developed three sales territories by county across the Eastern USA – the Mississippi East Region.

We used counties because states boundaries didn’t adequately represent large business proximities that correlated efficiently with our new sales peoples’ home bases. By basing our territories on counties we can divide states where necessary preserving a map visualization balance between estimated windshield time and sales compensation coverage.

As we planned our expansion we used MapBusinessOnline to estimate drive times around key metro areas. Each targeted metro area included at least four major businesses that were qualified MBO leads. We imported a list of additional business addresses by metro area that we secured from an online business listing service. Drive time polygons were used to query those lists and saved results, or MBO marketing lists, were turned into optimized multi-stop vehicle routes.

Traveling sales people will plan their weekly schedule using a metro area hotel as the central point. All qualified businesses located within a given drive time polygons will be targeted for calls. Any businesses with significant potential within a one hour drive time of the original scope of call is a fair target, at the sales person’s discretion, because we don’t want any more windshield time expended without special permission from corporate.

Share Editable Maps
A shared and editable business map will be created, saved and shared with the team of account managers. The map will show:

• Sales territories by county
• Metro drive time targets
• Prospects color coded by call status and with hover-notes showing the number of potential users

Each week, using shared map editing capabilities, the new account managers will update our shared business map. Account managers are accountable for their own territory updates – this is written into their contract. They edit their maps daily or weekly as long as updates are complete by the day of the monthly sales meeting. If during the meeting we have to waste time speculating about whether an account had been visited or if the data was up-to-date, that account manager will suffer a demerit. Five demerits and they are back to selling roadside hotdogs.

Once a quarter a business decision will be made to hand off accounts to the inside sales team and create new market areas of interest for the traveling account managers to target. Leads from happy customers tend to drive a large percentage of new target development. And it’s a fact today that customers, once set-up, do not want to spend a lot of face time being glad handed by outside sales people.

We’ll follow this process until we feel we’ve saturated our territory scheme. At that point we’ll either move the focus west or drive deeper into detail and setup territories by zip code by metro area. Either way, even though we can’t peer into the future we can plan our way forward and create our own future using business mapping software.

Isn’t it time you developed a work flow that includes location intelligence and business mapping software? The Quija says, “Yes.” The Eight Ball say, “Decidedly so.” And Madame Marie is busy selling roadside MBO hotdogs.

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

Filed under: Uncategorized, , , , , , , ,

SpatialTEQ Announces MapBusinessOnline.com Available on Salesforce AppExchange, the World’s Leading Enterprise Apps Marketplace

LOWELL, Mass. – March 26, 2015 — Map Publisher SpatialTEQ Inc. today announced the release of MapBusinessOnline.com (MBO) for Salesforce users – business mapping, sales planning and sales territory mapping for organizations and professionals using the world’s #1 CRM. MapBusinessOnline.com 4.4.4 (MBO) will be accessible to licensed subscribers of Salesforce via the Salesforce AppExchange. MBO for Salesforce provides a complete array of business mapping software tools designed to support the sales and marketing mapping needs of the retail sales, industrial sales, healthcare, financial and other vertical markets.

MapBusinessOnline.com for Salesforce users enables direct integration and easy transfer of contacts, prospects, and opportunities from within Salesforce directly into Map Business Online business maps. Business data can then be visualized, searched, segmented by geography or filtered, and exported back to Salesforce for campaign work or other projects. Salesforce users with sales territory assignments by zip code, city, county, or state will be able to easily import those records into Map Business Online for sales territory creations and management enabling shared map views and queries by territory. Salesforce users will also have access to MBO’s shared map editing tools for collaborative business map creation and editing across designated teams of MBO subscribers.
Banner Yellow

Geoffrey Ives, vice president of sales for SpatialTEQ said, “MBO for Salesforce users is designed to enhance sales productivity and drive down fuel costs through optimized sales planning. Franchisors, and general sales organizations will create and manage sales territories that expand upon Salesforce sales funnel accountability practices, further driving accountability to every sales organization. And Salesforce marketers will gain access to geographic visualizations and analysis of customers, prospects and competitors for use in developing effective campaigns.”

About Map Business Online
From the creators of BusinessMAP, http://www.MapBusinessOnline.com has been providing sales & marketing professionals with affordable and intuitive 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. Access optimized multi-stop routes to control travel costs. No other map software solves so much for so little.

About Salesforce AppExchange
Salesforce AppExchange is the world’s leading enterprise apps marketplace that empowers companies to sell, service, market and engage for the Internet of Customers. With more than 2,200 partner apps and more than 2.4 million customer installs, it is the most comprehensive source of social, mobile and connected cloud apps for business.

Salesforce, AppExchange and others are trademarks of salesforce.com, inc.

Filed under: Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , ,

A Multi-stop Route Planner for Your Business Work-flow

Map Business Online provides optimized routing tools for businesses with employees who travel in vehicles. The actual multi stop route planner is launched by the Car Icon on the toolbar. MBO business mapping features can be applied to vehicle routing in ways that support many different business work flows.

At a high level MBO routing functionality encompasses these major functions:

  1. Identify and Save Route Stops – Import and filter data to determine the routing stops desired by geographic area, drive time area, or other filtered analysis
  2. Create Optimized Routes – Use routing tools to select start and finish locations, and generate optimized or non-optimized routes
  3. Share Generated Routes with your employees or driving constituents
  •  Push printed or saved PDF files of turn-by-turn directions to drivers
  •  Save map views of proposed routes
  •  Share interactive web maps with associates and let them generate routes on their own

Import Your Data
Typically multi-stop routing starts with a list of stops. Import your company’s potential routing destinations as a customer spreadsheet, a prospect list or some other database of addresses. There’s lots of help documentation, videos, and blogs on how to do this in MBO help. The Help button is in the top right hand corner of the map application. MBO videos are here on MBO YouTube.

You can certainly assign addresses one address at a time using the address bar in the upper left corner of the map. That’s an incremental process and takes a lot longer than exporting a list from your business system or CRM and map plotting your business data into Map Business Online. And for SalesForce.com users it gets even easier through our direct integration tools.

Once you have your list imported into Map Business Online don’t forget to symbolize it to help you quickly visually identify locations critical to your work flow. You could, for instance, highlight locations requiring immediate deliveries, or patients that need to be seen today, or customers who haven’t purchased in six weeks. You decide, based on your work flow.

Filter Your Data
“You can’t route to all the people, all the time.” – Abraham LinkedIn
Well maybe Abe LinkedIn never said that, but still, the basic concept is true. And for that very reason you’ll need to filter your imported data to decide what deliveries are going to be made today, or what accounts a sales person will call on tomorrow.

Map Business Online let’s you filter by radius (circle search), by polygon, or by drive time/distance. These are geographic or spatial queries that enable a quick scan of your data within a circle or a polygon that you can save as a subset list of your overall data. You’ll be able to create routes with up to one hundred stops per route – a significant time savings in route work flows.

Further, in the Data Window you can create additional spatial queries or search by other factors. Maybe you want to route to all stops in one zip code, or in one county. That would be another spatial query. But you could also search based on information embedded in your imported data – for example, create a list of all customers with total sales reported at less than $1000. You could choose to visit only patients without the Flu. Filtering your data could even help the Grinch decide who is going to get Christmas presents on time this year.

By exporting these results and saving associated files you can keep a file of your delivery stops for any given day. Thus you can use your Map Business Online searches as back-up for work flow activities.

Route It
Once you’ve created a routable list of target addresses, you can choose how to route to your destinations. You must decide which order you want to travel in – an optimized order or in the order of your dataset. You could simply selected each destination incrementally – one stop at a time. And you need to decide where your route starts and where your route will end. Round trips are also an option.

Consider start and final stop assignments, perhaps it’s usually your home that you begin and end your routes from? If that is so, create a Favorite stop in the Route Window for your home address. But you can always insert your home address into the Address Bar to the top left of the map and the hover over that point on the map and incrementally select it for a start. Always look for the small Car icon to add stops to routes.

From the Data Window any list you’ve developed can be automatically converted into routes stops with one click – See the Car & Data icon towards the right of the Data Window toolbar. Once those stops have been assigned to the Route window you can still grab stops and change their order – just select them with your mouse and drag up or down the in the list of stops.

When you are ready, click the Route button to create turn-by-turn directions, mileage and time estimates. Consider loading a free print-to-PDF tool to save directions in a PDF file format like www.cutepdf.com. This is great for sharing route directions.

In addition to turn-by-turn directions, route results will include total time and mileage estimates. All route calculations are based on the background map data used within Map Business Online. The software considers road classifications, speed limits, turn restrictions, one-way/two-way rules, and many other factors in determining which turns to make, what times will be, and how far you will travel.

Read about sharing route functionality with MapBusinessOnline.com’s free MapShare functionality: MapShare

MBO optimized routing tools are used by package delivery companies, technical service organizations, home healthcare organizations, and sales planning professionals. These tools supplement customer mapping, retail mapping, sales territory planning and many other business intelligence tools.

_____________________________________________________________________________
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

Filed under: Uncategorized, , , , , ,