Power map: Explotting the geographical part of the data

Many users of Excel or dashboards may have the question, and why do I want to represent my data geographically? If we reflect a little, there are several reasons why a representation of information in the geographical space can help us make decisions
Date 19/09/2016
Category Big Data
Everything that happens, happens somewhere and it is possible that our databases are full of geographical references, although we have never seen them represented in a map.

Here are a few examples:

  • Our clients have their headquarters in specific locations, we may be interested in studying them geographically to know where to provide our services.
  • A study of the location of resource providers can save us transportation costs.
  • All employees of a company live at an address that is usually registered. Representing this data spatially can help us when deciding the location of a new office.
  • To see represented in a map the income of our points of sale can put in evidence spatial patterns that can guide us in the decision making.

Power Map gives us the potential to take all the geographical references of our business data and represent them in a map, so that the values associated with them, such as number of customers, income, employees, suppliers, sales classified by categories, etc. can be visualized geographically distributed and can be navigated by them, giving us another perspective different from the data.

This small icon, available in Excel 2013 onwards, opens up a whole world of possibilities if we want to represent our data from a geographical point of view.

The scale of the maps will vary according to the nature of the business and what we want to study: from local maps centred on a single city to representations of the whole of Spain or the world.

Power Map offers several ways to automatically process a set of universally accepted geographic references as standards. It is enough to have in our tables a standard reference correctly named to be able to visualize properly in a map all its associated values. For Spain, the following references work: countries, state or province option, provinces (County option), cities and zip codes.


 

If our data have spatial locations that do not match the standard references, there are two very interesting options:

  • Coordinates expressed in latitude / longitude: expressing the locations through these values you can reference any position you want in a database.
  • Load .shp or .kml: these files can represent any region or area, so we do not have to stick to standard spatial references such as provinces or states.
     


 

When the decisions to be made have a geographic or location character, the best way to analyze the information is to represent it on a map: Power Map becomes a very efficient way to do this and get the most out of that data.

Authors

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Pablo Gallardo

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