Exercise 6: See how your business has performed over time

You opened your business in 1997, and you have kept sales records for each year. Based on earlier research, you decide that you'd like to take a closer look at how your business has performed over time in one of the states where recent sales have been weak. You decide to look at your sales figures in the state of Massachusetts.

In this exercise, you use MapPoint to import your sales information and display it as a Series Column Chart Map. You create a Series Column Chart Map because it allows you to display information as a series of data points (sales by year) over a period of 4 years.

Import your data and create a Series Column Chart Map

  1. Clear the current map by clicking New New button  on the Standard toolbar.

    Note  If you are prompted to save changes to your current map, you may do so, but it is not necessary for completing this exercise.

  2. On the Data menu, click Import Data WizardImport Data Wizard button.

  3. Open the Excel sample data file by browsing to C:\Program Files\Microsoft MapPoint 2009\Samples\, selecting SampData.xls, and clicking Open.

    Note  This is the default installation location. If you installed MapPoint in a different location, use Search or Find in Windows Explorer to locate the file.

  4. On the Choose the sheet or range you want to map page, click Massachusetts Sales, and then click Next.

  5. Look at the headings in the row labeled Data type to confirm that MapPoint has correctly determined the types of data contained in your columns.

    Why?

    MapPoint assigns a data type for each column of your data based on the name of the column heading. Sometimes you may need to make adjustments. For example, if you have a column heading for countries named CTY, but it's assigned a data type of City, you need to change the Data type assignment to Country.

  6. Click Finish.

    MapPoint determines where your records will be placed on the map, based on the location information contained in your data.

  7. On the Choose a map type page, click Series Column Chart, and then click Next.

  8. Select the check boxes next to 1997 ($), 1998 ($), 1999 ($), and 2000 ($) to display sales figures for those years on the map.

  9. In the Show the data by box, make sure that County is selected so that your sales figures are displayed by county, and then click Next.

  10. In the Legend title box, replace the text SampleData by County with Yearly Sales, MA to save space in the legend and to more accurately describe the data set, and then click Next.

  11. On the Format the Series Column Chart Map legend page, click Finish.

    Note  You can use this page of the Data Mapping Wizard to change the legend title or color of the charts.

    MapPoint places your data on the map.

  12. To remove roads from the map and make your data more visible, on the Advanced toolbar, in the map style list, click Data map.

Result

You now have a Series Column Chart Map that displays your sales information by county over a period of four years. You notice that the counties in the western and central part of the state started off well, but sales have been steadily decreasing over time. Conversely, sales in the eastern and coastal areas started off slowly and have steadily increased over time.

After you complete this exercise, your map should look like this:

Series Column Chart Map

Next exercise  Move on to Exercise 7: Map your sales territories

Back to Tutorial start page  Go back to the MapPoint Tutorial start page and try another exercise.