Last week we talked about the reasons your business should use mapping software and how mapping for business can lead to success. This week, we’ll talk about the type of data that you can map and how best to prepare it for mapping software.
With mapping software like ours, you can upload any type of data so long as it contains location information. You might be thinking that a lot of your data might not be suited for maps, but you would be surprised how much of your organization’s data is location based. Your customer and contacts database likely contains thousands of addresses or shipping addresses, same for your suppliers. If you have more than one store or office, all of that information will contain location data. Even your employee’s data would likely have location data embedded in it in the form of an address.
All of this data is usually kept in spreadsheets, databases, and folders where it become is no use to anyone. This is the type of data that is perfect for visualization through mapping software, where it can be seen in a new perspectives and new insights can be discovered.
1. Setting Goals
Before uploading your data, you need to set some objectives. Like anything in business, it’s important to set targets and goals. What do you want to achieve with mapping for business software? What challenges are you facing that mapping software can help with? The common answers we get are:
- Identify new markets and leads.
- Build and manage sales territories.
- See where your nearest customers are located.
- Plot the fastest routes for your field sales team.
- Identify marketing trends.
- Plot your business location for customers to see.
- Create visual maps for presentations and meetings.
If it something unique to you, our team will have an answer for any challenges or goals that you want to achieve. With your goals set, it’s time to get your data ready to upload. Once your data contains any location data such as an address, zip code, postcode, etc, it can be uploaded to our cloud based mapping software, where it will be automatically plotted onto a map in a matter of seconds.
2. Preparing Data
In order for your data to be plotted onto an interactive map, it first needs to be prepared correctly. As said earlier, it relies on the location information in your business data. This means for your data to be plotted quickly, make sure your address data is broken up into separate columns (i.e. Country, State, City etc) and only contains one data type (i.e. Country, State, City etc). This way, our system can quickly identify the information and map your data quickly.
For step by step guides on how to upload your data, check out the below links:
- Add Data using address – If your data contains address fields.
- Add Data using Coordinates – If your data contains latitude and longitude coordinates.
- Link to Boundary – If you have data that you would like to link to an existing boundary dataset.
- Add from Library – If you want to add datasets from our expansive data library.
3. Supplementary Data
Our mapping software can facilitate you with helpful supplementary third party datasets. We have a immense library of data such as census and other demographic information by county, state, and international level. For example, if you’re a retail brand that targets males aged 20-35, you can overlay census data to create a regional heat map showing the occurrence of your target market by state. Then, you can overlay your store locations and identify the most opportune areas. These are types of goals that be achieved quickly and efficiently by visualizing your data on a map.
Once your data is uploaded and mapped onto our cloud mapping software solution, you can begin creating from a variety of map types. For more information on preparing your data, as well as detailed walkthroughs, check out our in-depth help resources.
Next week in Mapping for Business Part 3, we will look at the various types of maps that you can create and what they can be used for.