Context is such an important factor of any decision making activities. When circumstances are taken out of context, things are misunderstood, mistakes are made, points may be missed, leading to costly decisions.
Context can also provide crucial meaning for your business data. For example, hearing a company made a low profit this year may not seem like good news. However, if you knew the same company was in the red for the previous two years, it changes your perception. This is why context is important when presenting your data.
Location Gives Data Context
So much of your organization’s data now contains traces of location data, such as customer addresses, office locations, employee data, etc. The best way to give this type data context is on a map. Using spreadsheets to decipher location data is like trying to do equations in a word processor. You may be able to see some very basic results (such as one customer is in California and another in New York) in spreadsheets, but to reveal the real trends and analysis, you will need location analysis software.
The reason for this is that location data is visual and pattern orientated, these are lost on non-visual solutions such as CRMs and spreadsheets. After all, when you see a list of zip codes in a column of a spreadsheet, you may find it hard to see the relationship between them and your customer’s information.
Let’s look at an organization selling furniture across the United States. When they plotted their customers onto a map, we can immediately see where they are concentrated and areas of potential growth by using a heat map. Without seeing this data with location context on a map, finding these insights would require sifting through rows of data.
Seeing your information in this context will help you discover more insightful information about your data, leading to the discovery of patterns, opportunities, and helping make more informed decisions. Even the most straight forward conclusions can be challenged once context is given with location data. So I would encourage you to try mapping your business data today. You will be surprised with the insights you’ll uncover by plotting your data.
Try mapping your data today
The insights you find could lead to your next big opportunity