How can you give mapping powers to Excel users?

August 16, 2018 Carole Arseneau

Have you ever wondered…How many people in your organization are using Excel? How much location-related data are being analyzed in spreadsheets? How beneficial would it be to visualize the data on a map? The answer to all of the above is a lot! Providing mapping powers to Excel users in an organization will open the door to letting anyone find lots of location-related answers and tell the story of your data from a new perspective. Read this blog post for examples and ways you could benefit from leveraging your data.

While more organizations are adopting location intelligence strategies, Esri’s add-ins for Excel and PowerPoint are worth their weight in gold. Location intelligence enables businesses to answer questions with a geospatial context. From basic mapping like putting addresses on a map to intuitive tools for identifying gaps or hot spots, to quick access to Canadian and global demographic and economic data, this add-in will turn anyone in your organization into a location intelligence superhero.

Turn your spreadsheet data into insightful information

Let’s look at a few examples of how to leverage spreadsheet data and the types of questions you can answer.

Where are licensed dogs in my community and what are their owners’ addresses?

You can create a simple map to support the annual review of the dog population in your area and add it to your report, including hot spots to ensure decision-makers can vote based on facts when deciding if enough dog parks are within each neighbourhood.

Where are private properties with dwellings in my municipality?

You can create a simple map for your fire prevention specialist to plan his/her weekly inspection route. The map can be printed and updated in sync with the spreadsheet data in only a few clicks.

Who are my customers?

You can create a map to see where your customers are coming from to evaluate the potential need to open up new locations.

Where are recreational facilities in my area?

You can create a map showing recreational facility locations, add a drive-time zone around each one and enrich your spreadsheet with Esri’s Canadian demographic data like daytime population, age, lifestyle and spending habits. This will help you identify your existing clientele, so you can add relevant activities to the schedule and increase membership subscriptions.

It’s also important to mention that Esri’s data includes content from over 130 countries, providing both local and global perspectives. If you are an economic development officer, you can use this data to promote your community to global businesses and newcomers. If you offer goods and services around the world, you can leverage demographic data for multiple countries to understand how to boost sales, find potential markets, etc.

Inspired to get started yet? Let’s look at some of the great features ArcGIS Maps for Office 

Steps to get from your data to telling your story with ArcGIS Maps for Office

Tell your story with a “punch” in your PowerPoint presentations

It’s fun making maps and discovering valuable business answers while playing around with the analysis tools, but it’s just as important to think about how this information will be shared.

Keep it live!

With  ArcGIS Maps for Office, you can add interactive map(s) to your PowerPoint slides. This live map includes many useful features that will support your story. You will be able to:

  • Zoom in and out to put things into perspective with the rest of the world
  • Focus on areas of concern
  • Click on locations to get a pop-up window with your data details
  • Use the infographics (within the pop-up window) to visually understand the data
  • Enable the time animation feature to reveal patterns
  • Generate a PDF or Excel report

Your spreadsheet and the map(s) can also be combined and shared with other users for them to keep working on their own version or for consultation only.

Static maps are still important! For your reports and documents, you can copy and paste your map to enhance the information provided to decision-makers and you can print them as needed.

It’s time to get your location intelligence “superhero cape” on.

Get started with ArcGIS Maps for Office

To use ArcGIS Maps for Office, you need an ArcGIS Online paid or trial subscription or a Portal for ArcGIS Named User License and Microsoft Office 2010, 2013 or 2016.

While you can learn your way around the interface with this tutorial, we recommend taking this course:  Create Informative Maps with Excel Spreadsheets. It covers all the best practices including preparing and mapping your data, answering location-related questions and sharing the results. This new one-day instructor-led training course is available online or at our training facilities.

For questions and for group training needs, ask training@esri.ca for details or leave us a comment below.

About the Author

Carole Arseneau

Carole Arseneau is a Sales Representative at Esri Canada. She advises customers from all industries on how to use GIS technology to be more efficient in their daily workflows. Carole holds a GIS certificate from Florida State College in Jacksonville and a Bachelor degree in Kinesiology from Laval University in Québec City. Being by the water has always made her feel at home and has given her inspiration to keep a positive outlook in life.

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