Last week we went through choosing the correct software for your needs, so now it’s time to get down to business and start analyzing your data.
When running any type of data analysis there are a few things you should do to ensure you get what you’re looking for. So we will go through these quickly before taking a look at the types of map analysis you can run.
1. Define Your QuestionsWhat do you want to learn from this data? Questions should be clear, concise and measurable. Design your questions to either qualify or disqualify potential solutions to your specific problem or opportunity.
2. Set Clear Measurement PrioritiesNot only do you need to decide what to measure, you must also define how you will measure it. This includes looking at the type of data you need to answer your questions and how you expect those questions to be answered.
3: Collect DataNow it’s time to look at where that data is located. Is it in your CRM, or on a spreadsheet on someone’s hard drive. Is it in a cloud storage space or even kept on a USB key. You need to get all that data collected and organized in a way that will facilitate your analysis. If you’ve been following our Mapping for Business 101 Series, you’ll know that Part 2 was all about preparing your data so could be worth reading over again to refresh.
4. Analyze DataOnce you have your data collected, organized and uploaded into your choice of mapping software, it is time to run some analysis. Read on for some tips on how to do that.
Analyzing Your Data
From simple to detailed
You can start with a very simple analysis – create a pin map that shows distances between points. You can then progress to using more sophisticated mapping analysis tools like heat maps, bubble maps or territory maps. The resulting maps from these easy to use tools can be game-changing for your business. They can aid improvements in ROI or increase efficiencies across various departments. Read our article on problems maps can solve for a better idea of how mapping can help your business.
Focus on what’s important
Don’t get lost in the data. You can segment and filter data, isolating key areas of operation, and relating them to other data or demographics. For example, you can plot your sales across a geographic region and then filter the data to isolate sales above or below a certain level. You could then layer similar data from the year before. Now you have a visual representation of sales performance over a two-year period.
Use free demographic datasets
For powerful market insight, take advantage of any free boundary and demographic datasets that are available your mapping software provider. For example, use census datasets that reveal the age of population per region or zip code to help you find the best locations for new clothing stores selling children’s fashions.
Interpret Your Results
After analyzing your data, it is time to interpret your results. When you analyze data the best practice is to share the data, the analysis and your findings with others to ensure that all angles have been considered before share them with key stakeholders.
All you have to do is copy and paste a web page link that will allow the relevant users to view and interact with your map. Sharing an interactive map empowers viewers and encourages interaction with the data in a way that a spreadsheet never could. Have a look at our embedded map below to see how your colleagues will see your map.
By following these steps when using maps to analyze your data, you will make better and faster decisions for your business. With practice, your data analysis gets faster and more accurate – meaning you make better, more informed decisions to run your organization most effectively.