How do I create a map from Excel data?
Charts and data are good displays for your company’s information, especially when it comes to analyzing and interpreting your data. If you’re trying to bring geographical data to your audience or coworkers, create a map from excel data. This way, you’ll be able to show specific data as location-specific, complete with visualization of critical details. For example, uploading sales information highlights targeted areas in an easy-to-understand visual.
It’s critical to remember that maps made within Microsoft Excel are often limited to single data types. For example, current customers within a state, number of stores, or total operating costs. Map functionality within the excel program works best with large data areas (as opposed to small sales territories).
Formulating Your Data for Excel Map
Using the map functionality requires populated data to formulate your results. This means that the cells need to contain data, importing it directly into the chart (or, in this instance, the map functionality). As only a single data type is used for each map, you’ll want to include the section to be imported into the map, along with abbreviations of the area. This method doesn’t work well for areas smaller than states, as they’ll only show as small dots within the map.
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Creating the Map
After all the data is in the spreadsheet, use the mouse to select the information you’d like to use by clicking and dragging the mouse. Once decided, open the “Insert” tab on the top menu, and navigate to the Chart section. Choose the map functionality and select the “Filled Map” option. The map will appear to the right of your data.
Formatting the Map
To better understand the map, add key details to the map. Add a title to the map by clicking the default text box and typing your own title. Adding data labels will show the data directly over each map’s location (assuming the area is large enough). Select the chart and choose “Chart Elements” on the right to include data labels. Check the box for Data Labels and adjust the text, if needed. A legend highlights the different pieces of data displayed on the chart and should be included whenever possible. To include this option, select the Legend function under Chart Elements.
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While Excel’s map functionality benefits businesses, the singular evaluation is quite limiting. Third-party software can take all data set components and include these pieces into a comprehensive map. This lets you access population data from the software itself, developing data-rich markers.
Additionally, the large focal area of Excel makes local data irrelevant. While demographics related to states are important, most small businesses aren’t at a capacity to understand the influence this plays overall. For example, for a local business wanting to open a second location, state-specific information fails to provide insight into optimal areas for expansion. Likewise, it fails to give insight into the competition or other real-time content.
Determining Which Option to Use
Mapping software is likely the most straightforward option if you’re looking to analyze large quantities of data within a single database. Mapping software also helps businesses analyze how geography impacts the target customer and trends within the customer base. A company can determine where sales are highest, evaluate where over or underserved areas are, develop specific heat maps of information, and more.
Finally, users can integrate datasets directly into their sales. Many third-party mapping programs allow integration with Google Maps, bringing real-time functionality for various areas within the company. For example, a sales company that wants to optimize its routes can do so with the route optimizing functionality. Using this functionality, a business can input customer locations into the map and optimize the routes, maximizing time on the job. This means staff spends more time with customers and less time behind the wheel.
Bring Visual Effects to Data
It’s easier to understand large amounts of data when presented as a visual. Virtually every industry benefits from maps, whether it’s determining efficient sales territories, building ongoing heat maps, or evaluating current sales targets. Whether your company wants to opt for national information with Excel or you’re looking for a local strategy to increase targets, maps help connect businesses to their data in a crucial way.